After a decade of attempts by Connecticut lawmakers to mandate the recording of interrogations, a bill is finally awaiting the governor’s signature, reports the Hartford Courant.
The bill, which cleared the Senate last week, requires police to make an electronic recording of every custodial interrogation on a felony case that is substantially accurate and not intentionally altered. If the bill is signed, any custodial interrogations that are not electronically recorded will be inadmissible in court.
Interrogations won’t be recorded until January 2014, to give law enforcement ample time to familiarize themselves with the procedure.
Recording interrogations can prevent disputes about how a suspect was treated, create a clear record of a suspect’s statements and increase public confidence in the criminal justice system. Recording interrogations can also deter officers from using illegal tactics to secure a confession. In addition to mandatory recording of interrogations, the Connecticut legislature also passed a bill aiming to reduce wrongful convictions by creating an Eyewitness Identification Task Force to study issues surrounding eyewitness misidentification.