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Bill pending on taping of felony interrogations

July 30, 2006

I was pleased to see your coverage of the recommendations of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice that the Legislature require the electronic taping of felony interrogations to address the problem of erroneous criminal convictions due to false confessions (July 26).

I am proposing legislation that would do just this. As the commission has indicated, false confessions are the second leading cause of wrongful convictions. My measure would help California stem the tide of innocent people serving time for crimes they did not commit. No one -- not the victim, the victim's family, the community or law enforcement -- benefits when the wrong person is put behind bars. Hundreds of police departments throughout the country embrace electronic taping because it not only protects the innocent but provides for higher conviction rates of the guilty and fewer claims of police misconduct.

STATE SEN. ELAINE ALQUIST

D-Santa Clara

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