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NCJ Number: 212425 Find in a Library
Title: Video Interrogation: Losing the Evidence--A Comprehensive Look at the Legal Use of Video Statements in Canada
Journal: IALEIA Journal  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 2005  Pages:167-206
Author(s): John Burchill; Elizabeth K. J. Pats
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 40
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews Canadian rules and court decisions that pertain to the use of video/audio recordings of police interrogations; Canada's policy in this regard is compared with that of some other countries.
Abstract: As a general rule, a confession will not be admissible as evidence in a Canadian court if there is reasonable doubt about its voluntariness. In order to ensure that the issue of voluntariness can be adequately addressed when a defendant's alleged confession is being considered for admissibility, Canadian case law has evolved to favor videotaping police interrogations of suspects. In 2000, Canada's Supreme Court readdressed the confession rule in R v. Oickle. The Court identified the relevant factors for determining whether or not defendant statements would be considered voluntary. It indicated that voluntariness is questionable when interrogations involve threats or promises; oppressive conditions; the defendant's lack of awareness that a confession, with attendant detrimental consequences, is being made; and the use of police "trickery" that is sufficiently appalling to shock the public. The Court also stated that the judgment of the trier of fact regarding these issues related to a confession's voluntariness can be greatly assisted by a videotape of the police interrogation that was the context for the confession. Subsequent to "Oickle," the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Moore-McFarlane held that as long as recording equipment is available, the failure to record an interrogation will generally preclude a finding of voluntariness, except in the circumstance in which the police officer did not intend to interrogate the suspect. A comparison of the Canadian evolution of policy regarding taped confessions in an international context addresses policies in Great Britain, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United States. 22 references
Main Term(s): Police interrogation training
Index Term(s): Australia; Canada; Comparative analysis; Confessions; Foreign courts; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Hong Kong; Interrogation procedures; Interview and interrogation; Rules of evidence; Suspect interrogation; United States of America; Videotapes
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