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Nassau Police to Begin Videotaping Confessions

The Nassau County Police Department and the District Attorney’s office have announced that they will begin videotaping interrogations of all suspects in cases involving serious crimes – a policy change long recommended by the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Nassau County Chapter.

“Videotaping police interrogations is good policy,” Tara Keenan-Thomson, the chapter’s director, said today. “It protects suspects by preventing false or coerced confessions and other misconduct, and it protects police against false accusations that they violated a suspect’s rights.”

According to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, 10 of the 24 people in New York State who had their convictions overturned by DNA evidence had falsely confessed to crimes.

Law enforcement officials have said the new videotaping policy will be limited to interrogations in homicide and serious robbery cases.

“This is an important first step and we applaud the department for it, but we see no reason to restrict this policy to only the most serious cases,” Keenan-Thomson said. “Defendants and police officials in all types of criminal cases deserve this protection.”

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