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  1. #1
    Grandmaster mrjarrell's Avatar
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    Indiana Supreme's: Cops Must Record Statements

    Or they are inadmissible in court. They are touting this as a great victory for cops and prosecutors. I see an upside for the arrestees, myself. Those who just exercise their 5th amendment rights and remain silent till a lawyer is present will come out on top. It could well cut down on instances of intimidation and the like. It will alos make it harder to force confessions.

    From the Star

    INDIANAPOLIS ó The Indiana Supreme Court has imposed a rule that will prohibit a criminal suspectís statements taken during police station questioning from being used as evidence unless it is electronically recorded.There are some exceptions to the rule, such as statements made during routine booking or when the suspect doesnít agree to be recorded. The rule will apply to statements made after Jan. 1, 2011.

    The court said today that the rule change is aimed at helping police, prosecutors, judges and juries in their search for justice.
    Indiana Public Defenders Council director Larry Landis says similar rules exist in many states. He said it would improve the quality of decision-making by judges and juries and could lead to more convictions because there will be better evidence of confessions.

  2. #2
    Grandmaster Kirk Freeman's Avatar
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    The Indiana Supreme Court has amended the Indiana Rules of Evidence to prohibit evidence of a suspect's statement taken during police station questioning unless it was electronically recorded. There are exceptions to the rule. The new rule appliesto statements made on or after January 1, 2011.

    To review the entire rule, Indiana Evidence Rule 617, Unrecorded Statements During Custodial Interrogation, visit courts.in.gov. The rule, which was approved bymajority vote, states in part, “In a felony criminal prosecution, evidence of a statement made by a person during a Custodial Interrogation in a Place of Detentionshall not be admitted against the person unless an Electronic Recording of thestatement was made.”

    A place of detention means a jail, law enforcement agency station house, or facility owned and operated by law enforcement. An electronic recording means an audio-video recording. The exact definitions for “place of detention” and “electronic recording” can be found in Rule 617 online.

    There are seven exceptions to the rule which can be found online as well. Generally,the exceptions include the following:

    1. statements made as a part of routine processing or “booking”

    2. statements made when the suspect does not agree to be electronically recorded

    3. when there is an equipment malfunction

    4. when the interrogation takes place in another jurisdiction

    5. when law enforcement officers reasonably believe the crime under investigation is
    not a felony

    6. the statement made is spontaneous and not in response to a question

    7. substantial exigent circumstances exist which prevent the recording



    The rule change is aimed at helping police, prosecutors, courts and juries in their search for truth, justice, and due process of law. As the Supreme Court order amending the rule details, a complete audio video recording, which captures the voice, facial expressions and body language of the suspect and interrogator can be a valuable tool for law enforcement, courts, and citizens. The electronic recording can provide strong evidence of guilt, confirm police gave suspects all required warnings, and ultimately lead to more guilty pleas. The recordings are also likely to lessen factual disputes in court and reduce the number of motions to suppress evidence. The Order states, “With the foregoing considerations in mind, the Court finds that the interests of justice and sound judicial administration will be
    served by the adoption of a new Rule of Evidence.”

    In March 2009, at the request of the Supreme Court, the Court’s Committee on Rulesof Practice and Procedure asked the public to comment on the idea of recording custodial interrogations. The Committee forwarded the comments to the Court for its consideration. The Court also reviewed a significant body of existing legal and scientific research including the rules, statutes, and actual results in over a dozen other states and jurisdictions that already follow this practice. The Rules of
    Evidence can be found at courts.in.gov/rules.

    ************************************************** *

    I am at a loss over January 1, 2011 and less than amused by the exceptions (we will see an increase in sun spots I predict). However, I am very happy to see this rule adopted.
    Last edited by Kirk Freeman; 09-15-2009 at 17:18.
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  3. #3
    Master Boilers's Avatar
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    Ideally they should not deter, inhibit any other recording of events, as well.
    Audio recorders
    Video cameras
    Someone taking notes, including perps....
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  4. #4
    Marksman
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    The late effective date, according to the order adopting the new rule, is because Marion County specifically asked for the extra time to get recording gear together.

    And LOL at "sunspots". Solar flares and mysteriously-magnetized filing cabinets also seem likely future culprits. But it'll surely be a good thing to keep the interview process transparent -- which is a good thing as long as truth-seeking, rather than gamesmanship, is the goal.

  5. #5
    Grandmaster mrjarrell's Avatar
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    I must say, after seeing Kirk's contribution, that I share his lack of amusement for the exceptions. Too many loopholes in there to suit my tastes. "Malfunctions" have occurred in the past on video and had devastating results for suspects. I guess if more people were advised about their rights these hurdles could be overcome.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster Denny347's Avatar
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    We already "at the least" tape record all formal interviews. Then those get transcribed for court. No big woop here.
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  7. #7
    Marksman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denny347 View Post
    We already "at the least" tape record all formal interviews. Then those get transcribed for court. No big woop here.
    In my limited experience, I think that's generally true in Tippecanoe County, as well. I suspect for most departments, it'll just mean that the camera starts running sooner, rather than making the difference as to whether it gets run at all.

  8. #8
    Grandmaster rambone's Avatar
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    Anybody remember the thread a couple months ago about a new law that let police question suspects without a lawyer present?
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  9. #9
    Grandmaster Kirk Freeman's Avatar
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    We already "at the least" tape record all formal interviews. Then those get transcribed for court. No big woop here.
    Huge woop!

    No more stopping the tape in the middle of the interview (well, we might see more video malfunctions or renditions to neighboring states). No more *clicks* or *inaudible* or magnets near the tape recorder. No more having a pre-interview interviews. No more guessing at what the body language or facial expression is.

    Make no mistake, this will be a sea change in police procedure.

    We need to press the public education aspect for the sake of potential jurors about why the Supreme Court is doing this and how this reflects on un-vdeoed confessions and statements.

    The Sheriff's video taped interview of the defendant was a pivotal piece of evidence at my last trial last week, that the prosecution refused to play for the jury (I had to play it; it was a self-defense case). The jury acquitted in under 20 minutes.

    What the prosecution tried to pull last week also concerns me about video taped interviews. It may be like the OWI tapes. They do not like what they see and thus stuff can go missing.

    We shall see, but last week's stunt does not fill me with confidence.
    Last edited by Kirk Freeman; 09-15-2009 at 16:23.
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  10. #10
    Grandmaster Kirk Freeman's Avatar
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    But it'll surely be a good thing to keep the interview process transparent -- which is a good thing as long as truth-seeking, rather than gamesmanship, is the goal.
    Amen, brother!

    I think cops should be equipped like the Colonial Marines in Aliens. We see and hear what they see.

    The late effective date, according to the order adopting the new rule, is because Marion County specifically asked for the extra time to get recording gear together.
    Yeah, cause those fancy, rich counties like Warren or Fountain can pay for video recording equipment from the loose 100s on the floor of the courthouse, while Marion County, with no political influence and no money from its much lower population needs time to lie up the dough. Judge, please.
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