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According to statistics maintained by that office, videotaping produced an 85% guilty-plea rate and a nearly 100% conviction rate.In contrast, other jurisdictions have adamantly resisted the call for mandatory videotaping of custodial interrogations.Long before the first DNA exoneration case in 1989, the police in some jurisdictions took the initiative and began experimenting with the videotape recording of at least portions of the questioning of detained suspects.For example, by the early 1980s, the district attorney’s office in one borough of New York City had access to approximately 3,000 videotaped admission statements.One such factor is false confessions, which can occur when innocent suspects succumb to the intense psychological pressure that is a ubiquitous feature of today’s police interrogations in the United States.In fact, false incriminating statements made by suspects during detention played a role in more than 25% of the wrongful-conviction cases in which the Innocence Project has been involved.By the time the camera is rolling, their statements may be accompanied by little of the emotion and agitation that might have been present the first time they revealed the self-incriminating information.

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As a member of the San Diego police put it, “Not using video would be like not using state-of-the-art fingerprint analysis equipment.In 2004, Illinois became the first state to require by statute complete custodial recordings.Following Illinois’s lead, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia have since enacted similar recording legislation.However, policies requiring videotaping should be carefully considered so as to minimize the potential drawbacks of the procedure as suggested by psychological research.Over the past 25 years, there has been considerable ambivalence within the law enforcement community concerning the videotaping of interrogations and confessions.

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