Is the Reid technique capable of generating false confessions, and if so are the safeguards sufficient to insure that these false confessions will not be used against innocent subjects?
I will have to say as in life, nothing is perfect. Yes, the Reid technique is capable of generating false confessions. If certain elements are present then there are circumstances during the interrogation that will produce a false confession. Some of these (obvious) elements are improperly and mishandling of the Nine Reid Steps of Interrogation or failing to recognized specific factors or signs such as the mentally ill, children / young adults, or persons with low I.Q. These facts will inevitably suppress a confession.
As with all fallacies, in order to understand the suspect and situational factors involved in false confessions, more research needs to continue. It is a popular now known fact that studies of false confessions reveal most people who make false confessions are the young, developmentally disabled or mentally ill. However, if a true suspect is foolish enough to fall for police deception, they do so at their own peril (Rhode Island v. Innes, 1980; State v. Jackson, 1983).
I believe if the proper techniques are utilized throughout the nine steps and avoiding the signs of the mentally ill, juveniles, etc. An investigator should overall be successful in obtaining a true confession without suspicion from liberal critics. However, this may be untrue because liberal critics are never satisfied.
A little known upcoming safeguard may be useful in preventing false confessions is called the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale (GSS). The GSS is a test that tries to measure how susceptible a person is to coercive interrogation (Gudjonsson, 1984a; 1992; 1997). Studies found the GSS has a sufficient reliability and test-retest stability (Gudjonsson, 1992). If anyone is interested in learning more about the GSS, you can read an article at...
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