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Texas bill requires some police interrogations be recorded

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Texas police go through great lengths to find the perpetrator of a crime. Understandably so, as locating an individual who broke the law is the job of law enforcement. However, there are some who believe that police go too far in their efforts to produce enough evidence with which to charge an individual. Part of these overreaching efforts include the process of interrogating a suspect in a way the results in a false confession and wrongful conviction.

A solid criminal defense involves combatting any charge from a misdemeanor to a felony by pointing out weaknesses in the prosecution's case. However, before an individual might even have an attorney, criminal defense is much more difficult. Such a point in time includes the moment where police interrogate a suspect.

An individual who waives his or her Miranda rights also waives his or her right to have an attorney present during questioning. Some individuals may waive this right because they believe there is nothing they did that would require legal counseling. However, legal counseling is almost always important when one is suspected of a crime. False confessions resulting in wrongful convictions are such an unfortunate occurrence which could have been helped by the presence of an attorney.

Take for example, a two day interrogation that led a suspect to admit to a crime he never committed. Some twelve years later the innocent man was exonerated. We will never know what happened in that interrogation room to result in the man's false confession. Some believe this is why all Texas police interrogations should be recorded.

A Texas senator has recently but forth a bill that would require any serious interrogations pertaining to cases involving suspects in murder, kidnapping and human trafficking be recorded. Confessions already must be recorded in the state. Yet, the interrogation process that led to such confession is often left a mystery to the courtroom and the public. Perhaps such required recordings would prevent these unfortunate wrongful convictions.

Source: The Texas Tribune," Bill would require police to record interrogatories," Maurice Chammah, Dec. 5, 2012.

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