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What are the main arguments regarding the practice of videotaping interrogations of...

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kc76384 | Valedictorian

Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:56 AM via web

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What are the main arguments regarding the practice of videotaping interrogations of suspects by police officers?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM (Answer #1)

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The major argument in favor of videotaping police interrogations is that it would remove doubts about the admissibility of statements made by the suspect.  Often, defendants in court claim that their statements were coerced in one way or another.  By videotaping the interrogations, the police could show they had not coerced the defendants and the defendants could feel more secure knowing that they could not be coerced.

The major argument against this practice is that it is extremely unwieldy for law enforcement.  It is clear that the entire interrogation would need to be taped (not just a confession) in order for the tape to be of value in proving that the statements are not coerced.  But this raises problems for the police.  How do they videotape every moment of contact with a suspect?  At what point do they need to start videotaping?  These sorts of practical questions make it difficult to set up an adequate procedure for videotaping interrogations.

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