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Web sites with information about police interrogations.
By Mary Fricker, Chauncey Bailey Project
DNA exonerations in recent years, often in cases that included false confessions, have prompted a national debate over the best ways for police to conduct interviews and interrogations.
— The National District Attorneys Association encourages police agencies to record statements by suspects and witnesses but opposes the exclusion of otherwise truthful and reliable statements simply because the statement wasn’t electronically recorded.
— The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice recommends the state Legislature mandate electronic recording of all custodial interrogations relating to serious felonies by all police agencies in California.
— The California Police Chiefs Association prefers interrogations be recorded from start to finish, but it opposes a state mandate without funds to pay for the equipment.
— A March 2006 memo outlines the FBI’s reasons for opposing electronic recording of confessions and witness interviews.
List: Web resources
— Chicago attorney Thomas Sullivan wrote in 2004 what’s believed to be the most complete report on law enforcement agencies nationwide that record interrogations start to finish. www.jenner.com/people/bio.asp?id=179— A groundbreaking self-report of police practices found in January that 81 percent of the 631 investigators surveyed favored recording interrogations start to finish.www.williams.edu/Psychology/Faculty/Kassin/research/confessions.htm— The Uniform Law Commission in Chicago, which drafts legislation that brings consistency to state-by-state law enforcement, is crafting a uniform state statute on the mandatory recording of custodial police interrogations.