Currently, law enforcement officials are not required to record interrogations of those suspected of committing a crime. A recent bill aims to change that, seeking to make it a legal requirement in Colorado for all interrogations related to felonies to be recorded. The bill is still in its fledgling phase, but has a substantial amount of support behind it.
Interrogating individuals who Colorado police believe were involved in a crime is an understandably important aspect of the criminal court process, but just how effective is it? While interrogations might indeed return confessions, those confessions are not always true. The Innocence Project has helped exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes; of those who have been freed because of DNA evidence, a whopping 30 percent ended up confessing to something that they never actually did.
At least one Colorado sheriff has voiced his opposition to the bill. He believes that there should not be any statutes that dictate how police officers are able to conduct their investigations and related interrogations. However, others believe that it is important to see and understand the circumstances that an individual was in when he or she confessed to a crime. Those in favor of the bill claim that it would allow them to better discern whether a confession was actually true or simply made under duress.
So far, the bill has not met too much opposition after the House Judiciary Committee passed it unanimously. While it still has a way to go before hitting the governor’s desk, the potential implications of this bill could be especially beneficial to defendants who are facing felonies. Understanding exactly what tactics police officers use to achieve a confession can play an important role in determining whether authorities acted appropriately or if they took unnecessary and drastic measures to force an untrue confession.
Source: westernslopenow.com, “Interrogation Bill”, Feb. 24, 2016