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A Compendium of Law Relating to the Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations
By Thomas P. Sullivan
This article originally appeared in the March-April 2012 issue of Judicature, the journal of the American Judicature Society. It is reprinted with permission.
“The recording of custodial interrogations is not … a measure intended to protect only the accused; a recording also protects the public’s interest in honest and effective law enforcement and the individual interests of those police officers wrongfully accused of improper tactics. A recording, in many cases, will aid law enforcement efforts, by confirming the content and the voluntariness of a confession, when a defendant changes his testimony or claims falsely that his constitutional rights were violated. In any case, a recording will help trial and appellate courts to ascertain the truth.”1
The American Judicature Society’s website contains a Compendium2 summarizing my understanding of the current status of the law and practice of state and local governments and federal agencies in making electronic recordings of custodial inte
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