October 18, 2005

Recording Interrogations

by Sean Sirrine

It has been quite a while since I have blogged over here at De Novo and I must apologize. I will attempt to write here at least once a week from now on!

Blonde Justice is reporting that the New Jersey Supreme Court is requiring that all interrogations be recorded. This new system will be phased in over a period of years, beginning with capital cases. She got this information from the The Star Ledger, and I have to say that although I applaud this new system I think that it will make it incredibly hard for public defenders to get the courts to strike a confession whether it is coerced or not.

It seems to me that a jury is much more likely to convict someone who has confessed to a crime no matter how that confession comes about. (That is, absent any threat of force or actual force.) It is hard to see that the "truth" is something different from what the jury can for themselves see on a T.V. screen. The only good I see coming out of this is that the police are going to be less likely to play some of the games with suspects that they have in the past. However, the police will most likely institute new games that a jury will find acceptable and will lead to more acceptance of any confession whether or not it is the “truth.”

October 18, 2005 11:41 PM | TrackBack

Nick Morgan discussed Kevin Drum's idea of trading the Fifth Amendment for taped interrogations some time ago; good to see that NJ at least isn't making that trade-off.

Posted by: PG at October 19, 2005 11:30 AM
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