News 04.07.09

Tennessee Lawmakers Consider Recording Interrogations

Tomorrow, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to record custodial interrogations in murder cases.  The bill, however, would not render statements inadmissible in court if law enforcement officials fail to record the interrogation and preserve the recording.


Read the full text of the bill – SB261 – and watch video of the Senate Judiciary Committee discussion of the bill last week


Over 500 jurisdictions nationwide, including the states of Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia require the recording of interrogations, and state Supreme Courts have taken action on the issue in Alaska, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New Jersey.


With mental health issues of perpetrators and aggressive law enforcement tactics to contend with, it is not uncommon for innocent people to confess to crimes they did not commit.  The electronic recording of interrogations, from the initial arrest and reading of Miranda rights forward,

can help prevent false confessions



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