During his state senate years, one of the legislative accomplishments of Barack Obama was pushing a bill through the Illinois congress that requires video taping all interrogations in a homicide investigation.
This is nothing new. Other states, such as Minnesota and Alaska have been doing that for some time, and Texas has a similar law. Many individual departments, pursuant to arm-twisting from various civil rights and lobbying groups, have also initiated video cameras for interrogations in major cases. The premise: Criminals are the good guys, cops are the bad guys.
To the average citizen, it all sounds reasonable.
– A valid, well executed interrogation on video is valuable as evidence in court.
– The omnipresent camera protects the accused from undue coercion and abuse.
– Detectives are held to strict standards with no wiggle room for variance
– False confessions are lessened
– Provides good reality television shows.
That all sounds nice on the surface. But there is more to it than keeping cops in line. We must also consider protecting potential victims of crime.
Besides eye-witnesses, snitches and forensic evidence, a good confession is the most valuable element in sealing a conviction against someone who had committed a dastardly …