Sunday, September 2, 2012

R v Chapple 2012 ABPC 229 on the Reid Technique

[121] Although there is no law prohibiting the use of The Reid Technique, I find that it has the

ability to extinguish the individual's sacred legal rights to be presumed innocent until proven

guilty and to remain silent in the face of police questioning. Innocence is not an option with the

Reid Technique. Those who defend the Reid Technique may suggest that the problem lies with

the interrogators who misuse the technique and not the technique itself. They may also say that

the technique is intended to be used only in circumstances where the police are sure of an

accused's guilt. These factors are of little solace to me and of no assistance to those innocent

individuals who have given false confessions over the years at the hands of Reid Technique


[122] Twelve years after Judge Ketchum warned of the dangers of the use of the Reid

Technique in M.J.S., it continues to be criticized by a number of courts. I now add my voice to

the chorus. Like Judge Ketchum, I denounce the use of this technique in the strongest terms

possible and find that its use can lead to overwhelmingly oppressive situations that can render

false confessions and cause innocent people to be wrongfully imprisoned. In this case, the police

were convinced of the accused's guilt even though there was medical evidence available that was

consistent with the accused's version of events. They pushed ahead with the interview with one

goal in mind: a confession. And that confession had to fit their theory of the case.


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