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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 139962 Find in a Library
Title: Videotaping Interrogations and Confessions
Author(s): W A Geller
Corporate Author: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
United States of America
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Washington, DC 20036
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This preliminary study of how videotaping is being used to document police stationhouse interrogations and confessions analyzes the extent of the practice, the procedures in place, and why videotaping is viewed as an asset or a liability by various sectors of the criminal justice system.
Abstract: The study consisted of a review of English-language literature on the subject to identify important issues; a 1990 nationwide survey of police and sheriffs' departments to identify agencies that videotape interrogations or confessions; and interviews with local detectives, police supervisors, prosecutors, public and private defense attorneys, and judges in 11 diverse cities or counties where interrogations are videotaped. This report on the study provides an overview of departments that videotape interrogations; outlines the reasons for videotaping interrogations; considers selective versus nonselective taping; discusses overt versus covert taping; examines full interrogations versus recaps; and addresses videotaping and the quality of interrogations, the effects of videtaping on charging, case preparation, and plea negotiations, procedural issues of videotaping, and videotapes as evidence in the courtroom. Some reasons given for videotaping are to avoid defense attorneys' challenges of the accuracy of audiotapes and the completeness of written confessions, to help reduce doubts about the voluntariness of confessions, to jog detectives' memories when testifying; and to counter defense criticism of "nice guy" or "softening up" techniques for the interrogation of suspects. In the national survey, 97 percent of all departments that have ever videotaped suspects' statements continue to find such videotaping to be useful. 4 notes and 7 exhibits
Main Term(s): Videotapes
Index Term(s): Confessions; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Interrogation procedures
Note: From "National Institute of Justice Research in Brief," March 1993.
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