The Florida Legislature Rejects the Mandatory Recording of Police Interrogations

On December 8, 2007, I posted a blog entitled "Police Interrogations Should Always Be Tape Recorded."  Around that same time, an article appeared in the "Florida Defender" (a publication of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL)) which stated that FACDL had been trying for several years to get the Florida legislature to pass a law requiring the mandatory recording of police interrogations.  Finally, in 2006, FACDL's bill was calendared for hearing.  However, it was subsequently withdrawn from the calendar when more than twenty Florida sheriffs showed up in Tallahassee to speak against the bill.

In arguing for the mandatory recording of police interrogations, the author of the article (A. Russell Smith), concluded by stating:

"The FBI recommends that local law enforcement agencies record all felony interrogations.  More than 5,000 state and local jurisdictions now require felony interrogations to be recorded.  As best we can determine, no jurisdiction that has adopted a compulsory recording policy has ever rescinded that policy or abandoned the practice.  Sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors and judges in jurisdictions where recording is required uniformly praise it.  It is time for Florida to adopt the practice."

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