Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"The Reid technique": Friedman: Commentary by Ottawa criminal lawyer Solomon Friedman aptly called "‘Reid’ it and weep — coercive interrogations the norm in Canada." (Must Read; HL);

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  There is  increasing  recognition that use of the Reid  interrogation technique - which  can involve lies, trickery and deception as well as aggressive questioning  -  is based on false psychological assumptions and can  lead to false confessions. The Charles Smith Blog is following developments relating to  this widespread investigative technique.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

COMMENTARY: "Friedman: 'Reid' it and weep - coercive  interrogations the norm in Canada," by Solomon Friedman, published by the Ottawa Citizen on January 31, 2014;

GIST: "In 2012, a judge of the Alberta provincial court held that, stripped to its bare essentials, the Reid Technique is a guilt-presumptive, aggressive, psychologically manipulative procedure whose sole purpose is to extract a confession. Accordingly, the court ruled that the confession obtained from the Reid-style interrogation was involuntary and therefore inadmissible. In addition, numerous U.S. academic studies have found that the Reid technique produces a shocking number of false confessions, especially in particularly vulnerable suspects, such as children or those of moderate to low intelligence. Nevertheless, Reid continues to be employed in Canada and, in 1995, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the use of the Reid technique does not automatically render a confession inadmissible. It should, however, be concerning that police routinely use a method of coercive and manipulative interrogation. This method is not based on open-ended questions and truth-seeking, but rather the adoption by a suspect of the interrogator’s pre-packaged and preconceived version of events. And in Canada, unlike the United States, all of this happens without a lawyer present.".........And the Reid technique? In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the now famous Miranda decision, singled out the Reid method for creating a hostile and coercive environment. It held that, because of Reid and similar approaches, suspects needed to be informed of their right not only to remain silent, but also to have a lawyer present during any police interrogation. Almost 50 years later, Canadians are still waiting for that right."

The entire story can be found at:

See CBC web page for the informative documentary "Truth, lies  and confessions." "The interrogation-room confessions that led to the convictions of Russell Williams and Terri-Lynne McClintic for their horrific and high profile crimes earned high praise for the Ontario Provincial Police, and especially for interrogator Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth. But outside the glare of the media spotlight, concerns are being raised about the aggressive methods employed by Canadian police forces, and whether the interrogation techniques they use are eliciting confessions from the innocent, as well as the guilty. Two Canadians who confessed to crimes they did not commit speak out in this exclusive report by Joe Schlesinger of CBC News."


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

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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:

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