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. This can 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 policy.
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.
Consider joining NACDL’s State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) to exchange information, share resources, and develop effective strategies for promoting the recording of interrogations and enacting other pressing reforms.
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.
- "The Baltimore exonerees’ cases shed light on the need for reforming youth interrogations,"
- "Opinion: Videotape All Police Interrogations,"
- "Ohio Bill Seeks To Require Recording Of Interrogations,"
Recording Interrogations News Releases
News Release ~ 05/21/2014
Department of Justice Announces New Policy Concerning the Recording of Custodial Interrogations-- Washington, DC (May 21, 2014) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is greatly encouraged by the new DOJ policy, announced last week and effective July 11, 2014, creating a presumption in favor of recording custodial interrogations.