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For the Record: Taping Felony Custodial Interrogations Benefits Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 31 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2004 Pages: 44,46,48,50,52,54,56
Rebecca Kanable
Date Published
October 2004
8 pages
This article discusses the benefits of recording police interrogations.
Defense lawyers and researchers have claimed that recording police interrogations is necessary to protect suspects from corrupt police practices such as lying about what suspects said during the interrogation. However, most law enforcement agencies are in favor of recording interrogations because it provides an unbiased account of what occurred, closing the door on false claims of abuse or coercion. In 2002, the Illinois legislature enacted a law requiring that recordings be made of interrogations involving homicide investigations. Police agencies that routinely record interrogations are pleased with the strategy and consider it a powerful law enforcement tool. Video recordings of interrogations, while rarely used, are considered even better than audio recordings because they are able to capture more information. Most agencies, however, rely on audio recordings and information is presented about the system set-up and internal policymaking. Specialized training may be necessary to inform officers on how to conduct themselves while being recorded. The article contains a textbox on interrogation training. Police agencies are encouraged to voluntarily implement recording policies to take advantage of this powerful law enforcement tool.