New York Should Follow China’s Lead and Require Mandatory Recording of Interrogations
Watch a press conference of the Innocence Project and New York Bar Association calling on New York lawmakers to enact protections against wrongful convictions. (Footage courtesy of
New York Bar Association
In response to a report in today’s New York Times announcing that China will videotape interrogations, the Innocence Project is calling on New York lawmakers to enact similar protections, as recommended by criminal justice stakeholders from across the state. The demand comes as the Assembly takes up a bill that recently passed the state Senate that would expand the DNA database to include DNA samples from people who commit low level crimes.
Law Enforcement officials from throughout the state have been championing the Senate bill to expand the database, disingenuously pushing the move as a wrongful conviction reform by claiming that the database led to New York’s 27 DNA exonerations. But the database was helpful in identifying the real perpetrator in only 2 of the 27 exonerations. If the reforms sought by the Innocence Project had been in place, it is likely that at least one, if not both, of these miscarriages of justice could have been prevented.
Innocence Project data on the 27 exonerations shows that false confessions and misidentification are serious problems in the state that could be stemmed by reforms. Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of New York’s 27 DNA exonerations, contributing to 56% of the wrongful convictions. False confessions contribute to 44% of the DNA exonerations and mandatory recording of interrogations, from the reading of Miranda rights onward, is the single best reform available to stem the tide of false confessions.
Out of New York’s 27 DNA exonerations, 7 real perpetrators were ultimately identified. While the wrong person was incarcerated, 5 of them went on to commit 6 murders, 2 attempted murders and 3 rapes.
Read The New York Times article:
China Acts to Give Defendants Greater Rights
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false confessions and mandatory recording of interrogations
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