The interrogation of murder suspects in New Jersey must be electronically recorded from start to finish under new guidelines beginning Jan. 1. The regulations, which allow for audio or audiovisual recordings, make New Jersey the sixth state in the nation with such a law, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The procedure was originally pushed by the state Public Defender’s Office as a way to protect defendants from falsely admitting guilt under the duress of police interrogation. But the state Attorney General’s Office has also welcomed the idea, saying it prevents detectives from being wrongly accused of coercing confessions.
“This will help get to the truth, because it will show what really happened during the interrogation,” said Marcia Blum, an assistant deputy public defender. New Jersey will join Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts and Minnesota in taping interrogations. More than 260 law enforcement agencies throughout 41 states record interrogations beginning with the reading of Miranda rights.