Police-Induced Confessions, 2.0: Risk Factors and Recommendations - Reid Comments

Written By: Joseph P. Buckley
Mar 25, 2024

In 2010 an article entitled, “Police-Induced Confessions: Risk Factors and Recommendations” was published - Law Hum Behav 2010 Feb; 34(1):49-52. Recently a draft of an updated version was circulated for comment. The updated article is entitled: Police-Induced Confessions, 2.0: Risk Factors and Recommendations. It is replete with misinformation about the Reid Technique.

Before proceeding with our Comments regarding the updated draft article, we believe that it would be helpful to the reader for us to briefly review the 2010 Article that took issue with the “totality of circumstances” approach used by the United States Supreme Court in Frazier v. Cupp (1969).

The 2010 Article sharply criticized the Supreme Court's decision in Frazier v. Cupp and the American Courts for using the “totality of circumstances” approach. The Article states that American Courts are likely to find a confession is voluntary and admissible unless it was accompanied by “physical brutality or deprivation, threats of harm or punishment, promises of leniency or immunity and flagrant violations of a suspect’s constitutional rights.” (pg. 27) It also states that “as illustrated by the Reid Technique and other similar approaches, the modern police interrogation is, by definition, a guilt-presumptive and confrontational process-aspects of which put innocent people at risk. (pg. 27)

To the contrary, as the hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers and private security personnel have learned over the past 50 years, the Reid Technique does not put innocent people at risk. Rather, the Reid Technique teaches law enforcement officers what the law permits them to do and what the law prohibits them from doing when interviewing and interrogating criminal suspects for admissions or confessions to be found voluntary and admissible in subsequent criminal proceedings.

The draft updated Article now attacks the Reid Technique by making many erroneous and misleading statements about its teaching regarding Reid’s Behavior Analysis Interviews, Reid’s method of conducting interrogations, Reid’s teaching regarding the minimization of the moral and psychological consequences and when and what kind of misrepresentations and lies should be avoided. Each of these erroneous and misleading statements are more fully discussed below.

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