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False Confessions and the Reid Technique

By August 11, 2014May 8th, 2020No Comments

The Reid technique is an interrogation technique used by many police agencies throughout Michigan. Child Protective Services workers are also being trained in this technique. This method of interrogation is beneficial to law enforcement because it is used to elicit confessions. This technique has been widely criticized, however, by defense attorneys, psychology experts and other legal scholars as it has been found to produce false confessions.

The Reid technique includes an investigative interview and the interrogation as primary stages in the process. The interview consists of non-accusatory information gathering. The interview is followed by the interrogation, which includes 9 steps: 1) initial confrontation; 2) theme development; 3) handling denials; 4) overcoming objections; 5) procurement of the subject’s attention; 6) handling the subject’s passive mood; 7) presenting an alternative question; 8) developing the details of the admission; and 9) converting the verbal confession to a written or recorded statement.

The use of the Reid technique teaches an interrogating officer not to accept the denials of the accused, to rationalize the crime so it’s easier for an accused person to admit to it, and also provides alternative questioning techniques to stage the crime in a “lesser of two evils” light.

It is easy to see how the suggestive and coercive methods of the Reid technique can produce a false confession from an accused suspect. This happens Michigan criminal sexual conduct and CSC cases. In Michigan, many law enforcement officers are trained in this technique, and sadly, many do not receive adequate training. Depending on the circumstances of the statement made by the accused, it may be possible to seek suppression of the confession.

If you have been accused of a sex crime, criminal sexual conduct or have or falsely confessed to committing CSC, contact The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith, P.C. immediately. Our office is dedicated to handling these types of cases, which ensures our success and ability to protect your future.

Author Shannon Smith

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Michigan Criminal Sexual conduct Lawyer