Golden Gate University Law Review


Throughout the United States, more and more law enforcement officials are coming to realize the tremendous benefits they receive when the questioning of suspects in police facilities is recorded from beginning to end, starting with the Miranda warnings and continuing until the interview is completely finished. Recordings put an end to a host of problems for detectives: having to scribble notes during interviews and later type reports; straining on the witness stand weeks and months later, trying to describe what happened behind closed doors at the station; becoming embroiled in courtroom disputes about what was said and done during custodial interrogations, and about whether suspects' statements were voluntary; and having to defend against charges of use of unlawful tactics or misstating what occurred. Recordings of interviews Miranda to the end will also improve on non-recorded questioning followed by recorded final statements, which leave detectives open to charges that they improperly induced confessions during the preliminary non-recorded sessions. Recording complete custodial interrogations creates an incontestable, real-time record that the lawyers, judges and juries may evaluate as though it took place right in front of them.