Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Reid Technique (4): Liz Martinez, a researcher on false confessions calls Reid "a relic of interrogation tactics that should fade into the past," - and concludes, "It's time to move on.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: For years, this Blog has has been reporting on the dangerous inherent in use of the Reid method of interrogation which has been used in criminal justice jurisdictions around the world - even as mounting scientific research demonstrated its flaws and the number of exonerations based on false confessions  steadily increased. It is therefore a most significant event when Wicklander-Zulawski, which describes itself as "a world leader in interview and interrogation training services for federal government agencies, law enforcement organizations and corporations," announces that it will no longer offer training in the controversial method. Wicklander-Zulawski's far-reaching move will hopefully assist the numerous people convicted on the basis of false convictions obtained through use of the Reid method who have not yet been exonerated - and will open the door to less confrontation and thereby less risky interrogation methods.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.


COMMENTARY:  "Security, law enforcement react to change in U.S. interrogation technique," by Liz Martinez, published by Security Infowatch on March 10, 2017. (Liz Martinez is a consultant and an expert witness in retail security, particularly organized retail crime, and in forensic linguistics. She is a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics at Arizona State University with a research focus on false confessions, and she serves as the Programs Chair for the Phoenix chapter of ASIS International. She is the author of the book The Retail Manager’s Guide to Crime & Loss Prevention: Protecting Your Business from Theft, Fraud and Violence (Looseleaf Law, 2004) and the novel Sticks and Stones, as well as hundreds of articles and short stories);

SUB-HEADING:  "The Reid Method has been a staple of American interrogation tactics since the 1970s. An interrogator subscribing to this technique corners the suspect in a very small room, which signals that the interrogator is the suspect’s only way out; insists on the suspect’s guilt; and creates a “theme,” or a tale that fits the facts of the case as the interrogator knows them at that moment. Recently, however, researchers have conducted many scientific inquiries into elements of the Reid technique and found it wanting."

GIST: "After Wicklander-Zulawski and Associates, Inc. (WZ), a provider of interview and interrogation training for loss prevention, security and law enforcement, announced earlier this week that it would no longer offer training in the Reid Method, the firestorm began raging. In response, John E. Reid and Associates, Inc. has been sending out a flurry of press releases and statements defending its method. Current and former police and security professionals are weighing in on both sides of the issue, and controversy abounds........."Now, in the 21st century, W-Z is departing from the Reid Method, considering it a relic of interrogation tactics that should recede into the past. According to W-Z, the company has taught the Reid technique under license from John E. Reid and Associates, Inc. for 33 years. W-Z has now made the business decision to focus its training on its own Participatory Method, Cognitive Interviewing, Fact-Finding and Selective Interviewing, and Non-Confrontational Method. The change comes at a time when evidence-based scientific research, court decisions and the U.S. government have arrived at an agreement regarding the long-used Reid Method: It’s time to move on."

The entire commentary can be found at:

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;