It’s hard to imagine your favorite Sherlock story without Watson around, chronicling the ever-so-interesting and curious chain of events as he worked cases backwards to discover culprit and cause in a variety of cases. Romanticize as we might about the role of pen and paper and the fictionalized stories of Dr. Holmes, the truth is that for generations, investigators have (and still do) rely on this method to record interrogations.
How is this the case when so many other industries are going (and have gone) electronic? Healthcare has been converting to EMR for over a decade; iPads and tablets are all the rage in educational institutions, even in pharmaceutical companies and even airlines are looking at ways to allow customers to keep their smartphones on and active in flight!
How is it that until now Federal officers and attorneys haven’t been allowed to leverage technology to do their work as they gather key testimony and evidence in criminal cases?
Some might counter that the pen and paper method—tried and true—is quick and easy and cost effective. You can always find a writing utensil and paper is not hard to come by.
What of the alternative method? The more “advanced” method–digital audio (and video) recording? Consider these benefits:
- Recording increases the quality and quantity of incriminating evidence available at trial
- Recording allows officers to concentrate on the suspect’s answers and body language instead of focusing on taking detailed notes
- Recordings can be reviewed later, allowing for more in-depth observations of suspect responses and inconsistencies
- Recordings provide excellent training material on interrogation techniques for new officers
- Objective records of interrogations protect officers from false accusations of abuse or coercion
- Motions to suppress confessions are quite rare, often nonexistent with recorded interviews/interrogations
- Recordings benefit prosecution, encouraging them to enter a plea bargain for guilty suspects early on.
To find more benefits, read more at Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.
Now that the policy on recording has been reversed in Federal courts and for Federal law enforcement officers, these benefits can extend to the wider population.
iRecord’s digital audio and video recording systems, built by investigators for investigators, capture provide an easy solution for your recording equipment needs. Whether your organization needs to outfit one interrogation room or many, we can help your Federal institution achieve compliance with the Federal policy to support recorded interrogations.
Contact iRecord today to learn more or to request a product demo.