Wrongful convictions occur all too often, but in some cases these are avoidable. As technology has improved and investigations have been able to more accurately connect crime with suspects, one of the outcomes we have experienced has been fewer wrongful convictions. However, there are still too many wrongfully convicted. Let’s talk about one step your PD can take that will reverse the number of wrongful convictions in your community from day one.
Conversation around just how important getting video recorded testimony has continued to gain momentum from the moment a memo was released in May of 2014 stating that the Federal government was establishing “a presumption” that Federal agents were to electronically record statements that were made by individuals they took into custody. While the memo was clear that this would not be a requirement for all cases, it set a clear position on the matter, one that it had been staunchly against for nearly a century.
The Department of Justice leads the way in reinforcing the importance of capturing statements of suspects held in custody, a model that police departments are increasingly moving toward in 2015 and can be expected to continue to in 2016 and beyond.
According to an NPR story on the DOJ policy in May of 2014, many are satisfied with this change in direction. Defense attorney Jerry J. Cox is cited in the story, sharing the connection between wrongful convictions and data, situations, and measures that simple were not captured that might have reversed outcomes.
As we have seen from data regarding wrongful convictions, coercive police techniques and compromised mental states can conspire to produce false confessions, Cox says. “Recording interrogations protects the accused against police misconduct, protects law enforcement against false allegations, and protects public safety by ensuring a verbatim record of the interrogation process and any statements.
Wrongful conviction continues to be an area that investigators, law enforcement officials and attorneys work to reduce, and one of the strongest measures to date in doing that is in digital audio and video recording equipment.
Could Your Police Department, Law Firm, or Agency Benefit from Improved Equipment?
iRecord offers the nation’s leading recording equipment, storage devices and mobile tools. If you’re PD, firm, or agency would benefit from improved recording equipment, let us know. Contact us to start a conversation today.