RI first to videotape interrogations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A national advocacy group says a new accreditation program makes Rhode Island the first state in the nation requiring police to videotape the questioning of suspects.

The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island’s accreditation standards direct all police departments to put policies in place requiring officers to videotape the entire interrogation of suspects accused of capital crimes and facing life in prison.

A task force recommended that police departments require officers to videotape interviews with suspects in crimes that include murder, robbery, burglary, rape and first-degree arson.

The only exceptions would be if recording compromises an officer’s safety, evidence might be destroyed or the suspect could escape.

The task force’s stated mission is to reduce the likelihood of wrongful convictions caused by false confessions and provide solid evidence from recorded interrogations.

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