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Author Topic: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped  (Read 866 times)

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Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

There is a bill being considered in the state of Connecticut that would require all that all police interrogations be taped.

Quote
The General Assembly's Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote Monday on the proposal, which affects people accused of a capital felony or a class A or B felony.

Under the bill, any statement made during a police interrogation "at a place of detention" would not be admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding if it there is no audiovisual recording of the comments. The recording cannot be intentionally altered.

You may have three guesses as to who opposes this bill. Go on, guess. Associations of defense attorneys? Nope. Constitutional law scholars concerned about invasions of privacy? Sorry, way off.

Cops? Congratulations, you win the prize.

Quote
The Division of Criminal Justice and the state police oppose the bill. They raised concerns about the expense involved and how it could hinder interrogation techniques.

What interrogation techniques would this bill hinder? Dishonest ones intended tog get a confession? Why yes, it would hinder such techniques. Is that a bad thing, Connecticut state police?

The Innocence Project states that 25% of confessions are false; innocent people under emotional duress or coercion who confessed to whatever crime they are charged with.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 10:10:17 AM »
I would have thought police interrogations were taped as a matter of course already.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 10:13:50 AM »
The glaring problem I see from the wording are that spontaneous confessions would be inadmissible in court.  So if a man in custody began to confess his crime to a guard, but nobody was there to record the confession then that is throw out.  I wonder if this would extend to confessions made to other prisoners in the detention area.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 10:30:39 AM »
This legislation arises partly from interrogations where police use psychological pressure on suspects to force a confession.  Police are permitted to lie to suspects during interrogations, or interviews as some call them.  Minors are particularly susceptible to this type of coercion, especially when legal council is not present.  It's easier to prove in court with video evidence that a so-called confession is not a true confession.

Also, the law would only apply to interrogations held in interview rooms at any place of detention.  Spontaneous confessions to others would not apply in this instance.

Offline Oniya

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Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 10:50:54 AM »
'Confessions' made to other prisoners are already suspect, mostly because the 'jailhouse snitch' is typically trying to get a deal for helping the state.  Jurors tend to discount them unless there is other evidence supporting the confession, and prosecutors will make a big deal about laying out what benefit (if any) the other prisoner is getting.

Recording the goings-on in a police interrogation room will assist the ones doing it right, and penalize the ones doing it wrong, just the same way that dashboard cams have for officers in the field.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 03:53:27 PM »
YET at the same time it's illegal to record the Police in the performance of their duties in certain states.

Odd.

*Right now it's illegal to record an on-duty copy in 12 states. No matter if there is an expectation of privacy or not.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 03:56:14 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Zakharra

Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 10:39:20 AM »
YET at the same time it's illegal to record the Police in the performance of their duties in certain states.

Odd.

*Right now it's illegal to record an on-duty copy in 12 states. No matter if there is an expectation of privacy or not.

 That never made any sense. It means that if you had a vid camera running and were arrested and beaten or something, it wouldn't be admissible as evidence and confiscated? Yet the police can have their own cameras running?

Offline Brandon

Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 11:14:15 AM »
I would have thought police interrogations were taped as a matter of course already.

Interviews as the police call them (they wont say interrogation because its a bad Nazi-like word to use in court) are recorded all the time but usually its only audio thats done. Any interrogation room has a ton of microphones inside it and its even a trick cops use to bring in a recorder, turn it off, and then make the suspect think they are talking "Off the record". Unfortunately off the record is a myth

I think its neccessary, we cant trust police like we can the actors in CSI or other cop shows. Cops are just as human as any of us, they can do imorale things in the pursuit of justice and there have been more then a few times when innocent people have gone to jail for decades because of cops manipulating the situation. Now let me stress that that isnt the norm, most cops do the best they can within the rules they have but unfortunately those situations do happen

Offline Oniya

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Re: New Bill Would Require Police Interrogations to be Taped
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 11:38:11 AM »
It actually depends on the jurisdiction.  It has been becoming far more prevalent in modern times with the existence of cheaper digital recorders, instead of expensive, media-hungry, analog recorders.  It is still something that needs to factor into the department budget, at least for the initial outlay for equipment, so some smaller and less affluent districts have lagged before.