Saturday, January 12, 2008

True and Untrue Confessions

The New York State Legislature should revive and pass a bill that would require videotaping of questioning in felony cases, and Gov. Eliot Spitzer should sign it into law.

read more | digg story

This reform, among others, is needed across the country, not just in New York. We continue to hear of cases where police misconduct played a major role in coercing confessions that led to wrongful convictions. Confidence in the police and in the subsequent legal proceedings would be greatly enhanced if video recording was a requirement. Such as measure would protect the police and the suspect.

Many individuals might not support this measure. To do so is to ignore the lessons of the past and the growing discontent with police and prosecutorial misconduct. Issues such as Miranda warnings did very little harm to criminal cases, but served to propel the police to greater degrees of professionalism. These new proposals cost virtually nothing, but will yield a more reliable outcome.

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