The Innocence Project and the West Virginia Innocence Project are pushing legislation that would require all police interrogations throughout the state to be recorded in an effort to reduce false confessions, which have been shown to be a leading contributor to wrongful convictions.
reported that Senate Bill 440 is part of the continued effort of legislators who are working to combat wrongful convictions. Last year they adopted a bill to improve how eyewitness identification procedures are conducted in the state.
“In most cases, the police get it right and the prosecution gets it right. The percentage of wrongful convictions is actually fairly small,”
West Virginia Innocence Project Director
Valena Beety, told
. “But the fact that anyone whose innocent goes to prison is something we should all be concerned with.”
While the majority of West Virginia law enforcement agencies already record their interrogations, SB 440 would institute uniform rules for how all custodial interrogations should be handled. The electronic recording of interrogations, from the reading of Miranda rights onward, is the single best reform available to stem the tide of false confessions.
More about the bill
Read about the benefits of recording interrogations
Listen to a podcast
about the effort to require all West Virginia police interrogations to be video recorded.