Indiana's rules for recording police interrogations will rank among the nation's most stringent under a new mandate that requires police to videotape most statements made by felony suspects.
The new evidence rule, ordered by the Indiana Supreme Court last week, will require some agencies to buy equipment. Some say the new rule goes too far, but, in general, police, prosecutors, criminologists and defense attorneys think that recording statements promotes justice.
"The clearer the evidence, the more transparent the interrogation, the closer we are to the truth," said Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who supports video recording.
The recordings will capture confessions and incriminating contradictory statements, as well as displays of demeanor under duress that might spark sympathy -- and all will play out routinely for jurors, in living color.
With some exceptions, the new rule -- which applies to interrogations beginning Jan. 1, 2011 -- prohibits the use in court of an interview of a felony suspect in police custody at a jail or police station unless video was recorded, from start to finish.
If it's justice we seek, and I hope we all do, these rules can only further that cause.