For too long federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors have lamented the fact that cases have been lost time and time again, or that justice has not been served due to the fact that recorded evidence simply was not allowed. With the recent reversal of the federal ban on recording interviews and interrogations, federal attorneys and law enforcement agents can taste future victories.
Just a couple weeks ago, The New York Times cited former federal official Paul K. Charlton on this very case, detailing that:
“Mr. Charlton said that when he was in office he was particularly concerned that his prosecutors were losing sexual abuse cases and those involving violent crimes — or were accepting plea agreements on lesser charges — because they could not tape suspects. Many of those cases involved crimes committed on American Indian reservations, where the federal authorities had jurisdiction rather than the local authorities, who were allowed to tape interviews.
Mr. Charlton argued that victims in many cases were not receiving equal treatment under the law, and he blamed the F.B.I.’s policy.”
Now that the law has been reversed in a landmark change, federal agencies are just weeks away from needing to be in full compliance.
Around the country, the sigh of relief and expectation of more cases being closed and justice served is growing more palpable by the moment.
Some of the reactions from other top officials attest to this:
“Creating an electronic record will ensure that we have an objective account of key investigations and interactions with people who are held in federal custody,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a video posted on the department’s website. “It will allow us to document that detained individuals are afforded their constitutionally protected rights.”
A memo from May 12, 2014, states the following from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole about when videotaping and audio recording will be allowed:
“…the videotaping would be allowed during the time between the suspect’s arrest and first appearance before a judge. Audio recordings would be permitted if a video device was not available, the memo said. It added that officials should comply if suspects ask that they not be recorded.
The next step in the process includes a short learning curve to getting agents and attorneys in federal offices trained in both understanding the policy, implementing it and using recording equipment.
In the meantime, as your attorney offices or police department evaluates recording systems available, make sure to request more info on iRecord’s digital audio and video recording systems or download a request to join an upcoming webinar. iRecord’s system is simple, convenient and high quality.
With a record that won’t let you down, your office or department will join the growing force of law professionals and enforcers who are closing cases more quickly and seeing justice served. Contact us today for more information.