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Ohio House Approves Criminal Justice Reform

Bill Seeks to Decrease Risk of Wrongful Convictions
April 15, 2021
Phil Plummer News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) today announced the Ohio House unanimously passed House Bill 8, his bipartisan legislation that requires audio or audiovisual recordings of custodial interrogation for most major felonies, including homicide and sexual assault. 

Plummer said the common sense measure will reduce convictions based on false confessions while increasing public confidence in the professionalism and integrity of law enforcement. 

“Custodial recordings provide objective evidence that protects both law enforcement officers and suspects from misconduct,” said Plummer, who previously served as sheriff of Montgomery County. “Implementing a uniform statewide standard while providing flexibility for agencies to adopt policies will uphold constitutional rights and improve community relations.” 

Under H.B. 8, the failure of law enforcement to record a statement during the interrogation of specified criminal offenses allows a court to suppress or exclude the statement so long as the failure to record isn’t the sole basis for excluding or suppressing the statement. However, there are good cause exemptions outlined in the bill, such as if equipment malfunctions or a suspect refuses to cooperate if they are recorded. 

“This bill may also reduce frivolous civil suits against police and municipalities for civil rights violations, saving taxpayer dollars,” added Plummer. 

Currently, 24 states have enacted mandatory recording laws, including Indiana and Michigan. 

The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.