The Florida Innocence Commission wants a uniform statewide approach to police interrogations in order to help prevent coerced confessions and wrongful convictions, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Not all police agencies have policies on recording interrogations. The commission, formed last year by the state Supreme Court to examine wrongful convictions, is studying best practices to determine if a policy can be adopted statewide later this year. The purpose of the study is to help keep innocent people from being convicted, officials said.
Earlier this year, the commission studied how police question eyewitnesses. Afterward, its recommendations helped the Florida Department of Law Enforcement develop a statewide policy. Of the 13 wrongful convictions in Florida’s history cleared by DNA evidence, two were because of false confessions, according to the Innocence Project of Florida. “People having a hard time will confess to a crime they didn’t commit,” said Seth Miller, executive director of the nonprofit Innocence Project of Florida. “The person being interrogated is someone who is vulnerable in some way and prone to do whatever they can to end the interrogation.” Juveniles and mentally ill people are known to give in to interrogations that can go on for hours or days, experts said.