Apparently, the Illinois legislature is concerned about wrongful convictions in cases besides murders.
Under a new law signed by Governor Quinn, police will have to record interrogations in eight violent felonies. Police have been required to do this in homicide investigations for the past ten years.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Illinois police will have to record more interrogations of criminal suspects under legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed Monday that aims to prevent false confessions and wrongful convictions.
The law expands on legislation passed in 2003 mandating the recording of homicide interrogations. The new requirements will take effect in phases over the next three years, and by June 2016, police will have to record interrogations of people suspected in any of eight violent felonies, including aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery with a gun and armed robbery…
A decade ago, Illinois was the first state to pass a law requiring recorded homicide interrogations, a fix enacted as the state dealt with faulty death penalty cases. Other states soon enacted more sweeping rules, and Illinois’ new law will make it the 17th state that — along with the District of Columbia — requires the recording of interrogations for crimes other than homicide, Sullivan said.
Illinois has carved out an unwanted reputation as a leader in wrongful convictions, with the bulk coming from Cook County and surrounding areas. Drury, a former federal prosecutor, represents part of Lake County, where four defendants have been exonerated by DNA since 2010. Three of those suspects confessed after long, aggressive interrogations that were not recorded.
Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim, who took over the office after those cases fell apart, said he supports the new law, though he said he would support an even broader bill that would call for the recording of all interrogations.
“I hope that’s where we’re headed. I think (that’s) where we should go,” he said.