News Release ~ 04/30/2014b

NACDL Launches Compendium on Electronic Recording of Interrogations

Washington, DC (April 30, 2014) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is today excited to announce the launch of a new online compendium on electronic recording of custodial interrogations. This new resource aims to assist lawyers, advocates and members of the public interested in the electronic recording of interrogations. The compendium was compiled by NACDL member Thomas Sullivan, partner at the law firm Jenner & Block in Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Sullivan said: "Every day, throughout the United States, arrested suspects are questioned behind closed doors in police and sheriff departments. To a large extent, our criminal justice system depends upon the accuracy of those sessions. Experience has shown that recordings put an end to almost all disputes about what was said and done. Audio is good and video is better, for all concerned. It’s police station instant replay. I hope that users will find the site to be a useful tool in their advocacy efforts."

Accessible through an online map organized by state and also as a PDF, the full compendium lists up-to-date information on pending and enacted legislation in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also features case law related to the electronic recording of interrogations in each of those jurisdictions. And, for those states lacking statutes and court rules relating to recording, the compendium also notes which local departments currently employ electronic recording. The compendium also features information on national organizations that have taken formal positions regarding the practice of electronic recording and foreign countries that have statutes and rules on the recording of interrogations.

NACDL President Jerry J. Cox said: "NACDL has for many years supported the video recording of the entirety of all law enforcement interrogations. We know that false confessions and false law enforcement testimony alleging that a suspect confessed have resulted in wrongful convictions. Electronic recording of the entire custodial interrogation, rather than just a law enforcement selected segment, is one very important avenue to address this serious problem. I hope the compendium Mr. Sullivan has so carefully prepared will be of great value to those pushing for reform and that it results in more jurisdictions using electronic recording for all interrogations."

Today at 1:00 p.m. ET, NACDL will host an advocacy call on the Recording of Interrogations project. The call will feature Mr. Tom Sullivan who will discuss the comprehensive resource and the importance of it; and Ms. Rebecca Brown, Director of State Policy Reform at the Innocence Project who will provide an update on jurisdictions where electronic recording legislation is pending. They will also respond to questions. To RSVP please send an email to scjn@nacdl.org. For those unable to participate on the live call, the recording will be available afterward at www.nacdl.org/scjnadvocacycalls/.

You can explore the Compendium on Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations at http://www.nacdl.org/electronicrecordingproject. To submit any updates on jurisdictions, please contact Mr. Tom Sullivan at tsullivan@jenner.com and for any questions on the project please contact Angelyn C. Frazer at afrazer@nacdl.org.

Contact Information

Isaac Kramer, Public Affairs and Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7656 or ikramer@nacdl.org

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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