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: "Big changes may be coming to police interrogations," by Radley Balko, published by The Washington Post on March 10, 2017. (Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.")
GIST: "There was a time when false confessions were thought to be entirely fictional. DNA testing has taught us that they’re more common than we think. It isn’t that people are rushing to confess to crimes they didn’t commit — it’s that police interrogation methods are designed to wear suspects down. I’ve had defense attorneys tell me that innocent people are more likely than guilty people to falsely confess after extended interrogations because innocent people naively assume that the facts will eventually set them free. But all of that may be about to change. For more than half a century, [the Reid technique] has been the go-to police interrogation method for squeezing confessions out of suspects. Its tropes are familiar from any cop show: the claustrophobic room, the repeated accusations of guilt, the presentation of evidence — real or invented — and the slow build-up of pressure that makes admitting a crime seem like the easiest way out. That’s why it jolted the investigative world this week when one of the nation’s largest police consulting firms — one that has trained hundreds of thousands of cops from Chicago to New York and federal agents at almost every major agency — said it is tossing out the Reid technique because of the risk of false confessions. Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, a consulting group that says it has worked with a majority of U.S. police departments, said Monday it will stop training detectives in the method it has taught since 1984.........Research and a spate of exonerations have shown for years that Reid interrogation tactics and similar methods can lead to false confessions. But the admission by such a prominent player in law enforcement was seismic. I suspect that recording interrogations had a lot to do with this, too. You’ll commonly hear police say that a suspect who later claims his false confession was false is lying because during the confession, the suspect revealed details that could have been known only to the culprit. But even conscientious police officers have conceded after watching recordings of their own interrogations that it’s possible to feed such details to suspects without knowing they’re doing it."
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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/