Florida International University (2)

Interrogation techniques and their consequences:

Understanding aspects of the Reid Technique and its effectiveness in modern criminal justice

Felix Garcia Ortega

Florida International University

Interrogation is a key part when it comes to investigations of a crime. Through interrogation, an officer is in a position to know if the evidence provided is sufficient and how they can link the suspect to the crime. Through interrogation, a suspect may end up revealing some information that may had actually not presented itself. However, with the increase in number of false admissions to a crime, investigations such as the Redid technique have raised eyebrows on how effective they are (Clearly, 2016). Interrogation needs to be fair and just and a suspect should not ever feel that they have undue pressure resulting in them admitting to a crime that they had no idea of even from the word go. This paper will look at recommendations that can be applied to prevent the biases that exist on the Reid investigation.

Aside from interrogation, the admission of the criminal should be collaborated with DNA evidence. DNA analysis is currently the key method or reliable, method used by law enforcers to solve a crime. DNA is collected from blood saliva, hair or any bodily fluids. Most time there are DNA evidences that are obtained and when run against available samples there is always no match. Collecting DNA databases from offenders will help in the expansion of the database and may increase the chances of solving certain crimes such as rape. There have been concern that those who are often accused and late found to be innocent will have a violation of their privacy, although this may be true, I however think that their DNA being present in the database is not a violation of privacy. It may be used in other further helpful ways for example identification of bodies of victims that have been burned or charred (Peterson, 2010).

DNA sampling is the same as fingerprint ample which is provided in the database. The DNA database will serve more purpose when compared to the arguments against. These will help in convicting criminals and exonerating those who have been arrested and falsely accused. The right to privacy has often been used to argue a lot of things when it comes to crime for example in cybercrime issue on surveillance and privacy will often be raised. However, I think in cases when we need to compromise as long as a law is helping the society such as prevention of crime it should be implemented. As long as the collected evidence is not used for any other purpose than its intended purpose, this should not be a worry. If the DNA evidence can corroborate the suspects statement, then his statement can be taken and used in the prosecution.

There are other forensic psychology techniques much more useful than use of Reid method. One way is the use of forensic psychology a field that applies clinical skills in assessment, treatment and evaluation of forensic evidence in application of both research and experimentation (Roesch, 2017). As humans we tend to talk to people we like or relate with for longer period. When one is giving a story it may be hard to divert from the truth but if one does, forensic psychology tries to pick up factors that may prove one may be lying to the law enforcement. Kinesics Interview Method is one way that law enforcers can tell if a person is telling the truth. Kinesics involves the study of various non-verbal communication in order to establish if someone is lying. Forensic psychologist gets to observe and analyze a suspect behavior and can be in a position to determine instances of deception as well as truthfulness in a conversation. Kinesics method is a four-point process incorporating orientation, narration, cross-examination and resolution. Information obtained in the first step is vital as it helps the investigator break a cycle of deception through confrontation of negative-response emotional states (Ireland, 2017).

Peace method is another form of investigation that can be used instead of Reid technique. This form of investigation does not use any form of deception or lying to get information from a suspect. The technique is non-accusatory as it dwells on either proving or disapproving theories on the subject. This technique believes that a suspect is likely to tell a lot of lies that may eventually tie him down. The method is straight forward there is no undue pressure that may make the suspect feel as if they need to confess. When a person tells a lot of lies, it reaches a point where they get confused about their stories and they are no longer in a position to state which story is the truth and which is a lie. An advantage t using this method is that people are less likely to confess to crimes they did not commit and thus getting wrongful conviction is not quite as easy when compared to the Reid technique. Studies have proven that building a friendly rapport with a suspect may result in them saying the truth and when in a relaxed environment they can yield much more valuable information that can be helpful in a case (Leo, 2016).

In conclusion, there are other useful interrogation techniques that can be utilized in helping a police investigation. Reid technique has been the to go to method but times have changed and this technique is not proving to be as useful as it was years ago. There are better ways that the investigators can get convictions without intimidation for example through the use of forensic DNA analysis that can tie a suspect to a crime scene. There are other techniques that have also proved useful including the Kinesics method and peace method that can be utilized much more often. It is therefore important for law enforcers to be highly trained on how they can conduct interrogation in much better and less intimidating ways.


Cleary, H., & Warner, T. C. (2016). Police training in interviewing and interrogation methods: A comparison of techniques used with adult and juvenile suspects. Law and human behavior, 40(3), 270.

Ireland, J. L., Ireland, C. A., Fisher, M., & Gredecki, N. (Eds.). (2017). The Routledge International Handbook of Forensic Psychology in Secure Settings. Taylor & Francis.

Leo, R. A. (2016). Police Interrogation, False Confessions, and Alleged Child Abuse Cases. U. Mich. JL Reform, 50, 693.

Peterson, J., Sommers, I., Baskin, D., & Johnson, D. (2010). The role and impact of forensic evidence in the criminal justice process. National Institute of Justice, 1-151.

Roesch, R., & Zapf, P. A. (2016). Forensic psychology.