FBI To Start Recording Interrogations; False Confessions Still Possible


The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies soon will begin recording the interrogations they conduct, says NPR. It’s a reversal of decades of policy and, the Obama administration says, a demonstration that agents act appropriately, without coercing suspects. Some big loopholes remain in the policy, though. Peter Neufeld of the Innocence Project says that “recording, although it’s not perfect, will go a long way to not only creating a neutral record, not only helping police, but also being able to demonstrate when a false confession occurs.”

Keith Swisher, a professor at Arizona Summit Law School, argues that even innocent people can be coerced into false confessions under pressure from authorities. “Many of us will give them the answer these authorities want to hear,” he says. “It’s even a more dangerous situation when you have intellectually disabled individuals being interrogated or you have young individuals being interrogated.”

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