Mandating videotaping of interrogations
This article concludes with a strong recommendation for the mandatory electronic recording of interrogations and considers other possibilities for the reform of interrogation practices and the protection of vulnerable suspect populations.For their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript, the authors are indebted to Ray Bull, Michael Lamb, Dan Lassiter, Timothy Moore, Edward Mulvey, Richard Petty, Daniel Schacter, Laurence Steinberg, Gary Wells, and two anonymous reviewers.This was crucial because they had been subject to up to 30 hours of interrogation and received decade-long sentences.Another man's confession and DNA evidence later led to their sentences being vacated, but not until their lives had been permanently altered. A 2012 task force headed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals recommended that custodial interrogations of suspects involved in serious crimes should be recorded.On a typical day in 1989, according to the New York Daily News, "New Yorkers reported 9 rapes, 5 murders, 255 robberies and 194 aggravated assaults.Fear wasn't a knee-jerk reaction; it was a matter of self-preservation." In this fear-filled atmosphere, five teenagers were convicted of the attack.
Even though the defendants confessed on camera, the interrogations were not videotaped.
Mc Carthy, as of October 2013, only 28 detective squads of the more than 76 across Manhattan had an interview room set up with recording equipment.
Recording of interrogations is effective, necessary, and fiscally responsible - it can save millions the state currently pays out in civil lawsuits.
New York State should require recording of interrogations for two very simple reasons. It's a valuable tool to substantiate correct convictions, and minimize wrongful convictions.
This can help enhance communities' faith in police and the criminal justice process.