Legislation Regulation and Reform 

A gradual movement is building in a number of states and municipalities to require taped interrogations and confessions.

Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation requiring the recording of custodial interrogations. State supreme courts have taken action in Alaska, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New Jersey. Approximately 800 jurisdictions have voluntarily adopted recording, and in the majority of these jurisdictions, law enforcement agencies have expressed a positive view of these changes.

New York State:

New York State has taken action to help remedy and prevent its record number of wrongful convictions in the state.  The New York State Court of Appeals and NYC District Attorney's offices have set up a task force on wrongful convictions. New York State Senator Eric Schneiderman and his colleagues in the senate and assembly with the support of innocence advocates have introduced a bill called Actual Innocence which would establish the basis of actual innocence as grounds for exonerating an innocent person in prison.  In addition, there is now a new Bill in NYS Senate that requires all interrogations to be videotaped.

Bill S1082: Requires all interrogations to be videotaped

May 3, 2010

A513: Requires all interrogations to be videotaped

Eric Schneiderman Press Releases:

Sen. Schneiderman, Assm. Jeffries, Civil Rights Groups Announce "Actual Innocence" Bill To Exonerate Wrongly Convicted

October 21, 2009

http://www.schneiderman.org/show.php?page=press&id=699

Sen. Schneiderman Selected For Chief Judge's Task Force On Wrongful Convictions

May 1, 2009

http://www.schneiderman.org/show.php?page=press&id=660

Sen. Schneiderman, Assm. Jeffries, Civil Rights Groups Announce Actual Innocence Bill To Exonerate Wrongly Convicted

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/sen-schneiderman-assm-jeffries-civil-rights-groups-announce-actual-innocence-bill-exon

Martin Tankleff And Other Exonerees And Legal Experts Testify At Senate Democratic Forum On Preventing Wrongful Convictions

Malcolm A. Smith

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

http://www.nysenate.gov/news/martin-tankleff-and-other-exonerees-and-legal-experts-testify-senate-democratic-forum-preventin

State Senate Democratic Task Force On Criminal Justice Reform To Host Public Forum On Preventing Wrongful Convictions--lonnie

Malcolm A. Smith

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

http://www.nysenate.gov/news/state-senate-democratic-task-force-criminal-justice-reform-host-public-forum-preventing-wrongfu

ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON CODES

ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON CORRECTION

http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Codes/20070525/

California:

In 2004, California created the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice which has since presented three Bills to help prevent the imprisonment of innocent people.  These bills include: the requirement that interrogations regarding violent crimes be recorded, the requirement that information used from informants from inside prison must also be corroborated by evidence, and new regulations involving eyewitness lineups to ensure fair and proper practice.

Calif. Wrongful Conviction Legislation Advances

http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/articles/ca-wrongful-conviction-bills.html

California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice:

Reports and Recommendations: Remedies for Wrongful Convictions

http://www.ccfaj.org/rr-inc-expert.html

Supreme Court casts doubts on confessions

April 07, 2009

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/07/nation/na-court-confessions7

Ohio:

 

On April 5, 2010, Governor Ted Strickland signed one of the nation's most comprehensive criminal justice reform packages into law, making it easier to exonerate prisoners through DNA testing and helping prevent wrongful convictions from happening in the first place.

Specifically, the newly signed law creates:

A requirement for preservation of DNA evidence in all cases of serious crime, such as homicide and sexual assault
 Police incentives for the recording of all interrogations from beginning to end in cases of serious crime
 A requirement for police lineups and photo identification procedures to be conducted in double-blind fashion, meaning the officer who oversees the eyewitness procedure with the witness does not know who among the sample pool is the suspect
 An expansion of Ohio's post-conviction DNA testing law to allow for DNA testing to be done during the parole phase of the justice cycle.”

The Innocence Project: http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Governor_Strickland_Signs_Groundbreaking_Reform_Package_On_Wrongful_Convictions_Making_Ohio_a_National_Model.php

 

Innocence Project

Governor Strickland Signs Groundbreaking Reform Package On Wrongful Convictions, Making Ohio a National Model

http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Governor_Strickland_Signs_Groundbreaking_Reform_Package_On_Wrongful_Convictions_Making_Ohio_a_National_Model.php

Full Bill (128th General Assembly of the State of Ohio):

http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=128_SB_77

Ohio Learns the Lessons of Wrongful Conviction

by Matt Kelley March 20, 2010

http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/ohio_learns_the_lessons_of_wrongful_conviction

The Columbus Dispatch

Wrongly convicted applaud House passage of DNA bill

Wide-ranging measure goes back to Senate for final vote

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:56 AM

By Jim Siegel

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/03/17/copy/wrongly-convicted-applaud-passage.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

Nebraska:

 

Nebraska has passed a bill to provide financial compensation to those wrongfully imprisoned.

Nebraska Wrongful Conviction Compensation:

http://www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?cs_id=25067

Texas:

 

Texas has created a Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions which will study the causes and effects of the incidence of wrongful convictions in the state. The resultant findings will determine whether the creation of an innocence commission will be established.

Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions

Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense

http://www.courts.state.tx.us/tfid/tcap.asp

North Carolina:

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission was founded in November 2002 to help prevent and remedy the issue of wrongful convictions.

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission:

http://www.innocencecommission-nc.gov/ABOUTUS.htm

Alaska:

Alaska recently passed the DNA Access Bill which grants prisoners the right to access post-conviction DNA. There are now only two states which do not have this law, Massachusettes and Oklahoma.

Full Bill:

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill_text.asp?hsid=SB0110E&session=26

National:

 

The Congress has passed the Wrongful Convictions Tax Relief Act of 2010 which will provide tax benefits to those who have been wrongfully incarcerated.  Legislation has also been introduced in the House which would create a national commission to oversee the fairness of the criminal justice system.

H.R.4743 - Wrongful Convictions Tax Relief Act of 2010

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h4743/show

Innocence Project: “Critical Bill to Examine and Reshape Criminal Justice System Introduced in House”

National Criminal Justice Commission

http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Critical_Bill_to_Examine_and_Reshape_Criminal_Justice_System_Introduced_in_House.php

THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2009

http://webb.senate.gov/issuesandlegislation/criminaljusticeandlawenforcement/National-Criminal-Justice-Commission-Act-of-2009.cfm

Municipalities and taped interrogations

Click here for a list of the municipalities by state that require electronic recording of police interrogations.

States and taped interrogations

Click here for a list of state legislation that mandate states to videotape interrogations: