Many of today’s interrogation models being utilized in police investigations have an impact on false confessions. The model that has been in the public eye recently is the social psychological process model of interrogation known as the “The Reid Technique.” There are two alternatives used by the police today to replace the Reid Technique, one is the PEACE Model and the other is Cognitive Interviewing. These methods are not interrogation techniques like Reid but interview processes.
The Reid Technique is an interrogation process that consists of two parts, the interview and a nine-step interrogation. The interview, which is non-accusatory in nature, gives the interviewer a chance to gather information related to the case. The interview also allows the interrogator to gather behavioral information by conducting what is known as a behavioral analysis interview (BAI) (Inbau, Reid, Buckley, & Jayne, 2013). The BAI consists of questions that were created to provoke verbal and non-verbal responses from suspects so that they can determine if the person is involved in the case or if they can be eliminated from suspicion (Associates J. E., 2004). This interview is used to assess an individual’s guilt so that the interviewer can decide if an interrogation is needed. Once an interview has been conducted and the investigator feels that further interrogation is needed, they start the nine-step process that they believe will get them a confession.
The first step of the interrogation begins with direct positive confrontation. This is where the interrogator confronts the suspects in a manner that creates an understanding that there is evidence against them. This evidence may or may not be true but the evidence is exaggerated so that it indicates them as a suspect. (Jayne & Buckley, 2004)
Step two of the interrogation is to shift the blame onto another person or create circumstance as to why the suspect committed the crime in question. This is done by creating what is known as themes, which are a set of reasons that justify the crime or excuse it. These themes are not used to plant new ideas but to reinforce the ideas already in the guilty suspects mind. (Jayne & Buckley, 2004) The theme should be developed to ask the suspect why he committed the act not if he committed the crime.
Step three is where they try to discourage the suspect from denying their guilt. The more they say “I Didn’t Do It” the harder it is for the suspect to tell the truth. Therefore, it makes it more difficult for investigators to get a confession. During this stage, suspects tend to introduce their denial by using permission phrases such as “Can I say one thing?” or “Just let me explain…” If the suspect is telling the truth they do not make it past this stage as their denial strengthens (Buckley, 2000) unlike in untruthful suspects.
In step four of the Reid technique the suspect starts giving reasons as to why he allegedly did not commit the crime in question. To get past...