Maine Passes Mandatory Interrogation Taping Bill

Maine has become the fourth state to require mandatory taping of police interrogations. Maine's Governor just signed the legislature's bill mandating recording of interrogations into law. Alaska (1985) and Minnesota (1994) have been required to tape by their supreme courts, and Maine now joins Illinois (2003) and the District of Columbia.

From an email by Maine State Senator Ethan Strimling, Senate Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee and lead sponsor of the bill:

Governor Baldacci today signed LD 891, An Act to Require the Recording of Certain Custodial Interrogations. The Act requires audio or videotaping of police interrogations for serious crimes. The purpose of LD 891 is to prevent investigators from violating the Maine and United States Constitutions by employing coercive techniques during an interrogation. Likewise, the Act reduces the number of frivolous claims of coercion by defendants. "It's important that we remain vigilant, attentive to the risks that can challenge civil liberties if we ever drop our guard. These new policies will be important to assure that we keep a balance in Maine between aggressive protection of public safety and aggressive protection of civil liberties," add Governor Baldacci.

We're told congratulations are due to the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for the success of their persistent efforts to shepherd this bill into law.

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