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Government & Politics

Bipartisan Bill Would Require Some Interrogations to be Recorded

Rep. Plummer speaking at a podium
Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) says recording interrogations is an important strategy in investigating serious crimes.

Lawmakers say a bipartisan bill would add more transparency in murder and rape investigations, by requiring law enforcement to record their interrogations of suspects.  

Backers say this could help avoid wrongful convictions and add support for investigators.

Public defenders say interrogations are intense by nature, but requiring investigators to record their examinations will add more accountability, ensuring detectives don’t “cross the line.”

A bill in the Ohio House would make this practice mandatory for murder and sexual assault cases.

Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), the bill’s co-sponsor and former county sheriff, said in these major investigations, words matter.

“If we record this, we’ve got every word captured, and one or two words can make or break a case.”

Co-sponsor, Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) cited the Netflix series “When They See Us” about the New York Central Park Five case in 1989 as a good example of the need for accountability with interrogations.