Scott Horton on Legislative Changes to Miranda

Scott Horton:

Other ways of approaching the same issues are suggested by the British model. Following years of police station abuse during the “troubles” in Northern Ireland — abuse that led to coerced confessions in dozens of cases, many of which were later overturned following embarrassing disclosures — Britain’s Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher introduced a series of changes in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984, which govern stopping, searching, and questioning suspects. These included the key requirement that an audio recording be made of all interrogation sessions. With the proliferation of high-quality recording technology, this capability is now nearly ubiquitous, and it would go a great length towards establishing a definitive record of interrogation sessions that would eliminate most questions about what was said and whether a witness was improperly coerced.

Monday, 10 May 2010