Nearly every law enforcement agency in the United States uses tactics derived from the interrogation method known as the Reid Technique. Police are taught that they can identify guilty suspects through behavior analysis. They can then attempt to get the suspect to confess by using deception—for example, by claiming to have physical evidence that doesn’t exist. These interrogation tactics are not just unnecessary; they have led to wrongful convictions based on false confessions.
Juveniles and individuals with mental illness or disability are the most vulnerable to giving into the pressure of deceptive interrogation and providing false confessions. Most exonerated defendants who falsely confessed fall into one or both categories. However, there are also cases of neurotypical adults who gave false confessions after being subjected to deceptive interrogation techniques. These interrogation techniques are used by law enforcement agencies in Nebraska, and there are several prominent cases of exonerated Nebraskans who gave false confessions after interrogators used deception.
This Comment argues for ending the use of deceptive interrogation tactics in Nebraska. There are changes that could be implemented by law enforcement agencies, courts, and defense attorneys. Ultimately, the Nebraska Legislature should enact statutory changes, starting with the passage of LB 135, which would protect juveniles from deceptive interrogation.
Truth Over Lies: Why Nebraska Must End Deceptive Interrogation Tactics,
102 Neb. L. Rev. 222
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol102/iss1/6