NACDL - Recording Interrogations

Recording Interrogations

NACDL supports the videotaping of all law enforcement interrogations from beginning to end and calls upon Congress and state legislatures to pass legislation mandating this practice.

Why would someone confess to a crime they didn't commit? The Innocence Project states more than 1 out of 4 people wrongfully convicted but later exonerated by DNA evidence made a false confession or incriminating statement. Thiscan be due to real or perceived intimidation, threat or use of force from law enforcement; the use of deceitful interrogation techniques; or compromised reasoning ability by the accused. A videotape recording of a statement from start to finish of an arrest interrogation and subsequent confession provides the most objective means for evaluating what occurred during an interrogation.

On May 12, 2014, the Department of Justice outlined new policies relative to electronic recording. NACDL previously issued correspondence to DOJ encouraging the electronic recording during custodial interrogations. While we cannot be sure that NACDL's letter was the catalyst for the new policies, the new policy is a significant step forward for DOJ and sends an important message to other jurisdictions that do not currently record. Please see NACDL's letter to the Department of Justice and the memo detailing the the policy


New and Comprehensive Compendium of Jurisdictions that Record Interrogations

NACDL is pleased to host a comprehensive compendium of jurisdictions that have enacted statutes or rules on electronic recording. This compendium was compiled by Tom Sullivan, NACDL Member and Partner with Jenner & Block. We hope this information is useful to you as you seek reform efforts in your jurisdictions.

Learn more about the project


Recording of Interrogations Legislative Tracking

View pending legislation related to the recording of custodial interrogations that NACDL is tracking.

Recording Interrogations Legislative Report


Additional Resources

Below, please find additional resources on interrogation recordings: 

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