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Representative Plummer Discusses Implementation of Statewide Recording of Suspect Interrogations

June 18, 2019
Phil Plummer News

COLUMBUS - State Representatives Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Thomas West (D-Canton) today discussed House Bill 277, their legislation to implement statewide recording of suspect interrogations for the most serious crimes.

“HB 277 will establish a statewide standard for recording police interrogations including murder and sexual assaults,” said Rep. Plummer. “This bill will protect the constitutional rights of the suspects and it will improve community trusts.”

This bill would create a uniform statewide standard, while providing flexibility for agencies to adopt policies that are right for them. It requires recording of custodial interrogations that occur in a place of detention for suspects in homicide and sexual assault cases. Agencies also have the option to use audiovisual or audio-only equipment to address any cost concerns.

In addition, there are a number of good cause exemptions, such as if equipment malfunctions or a suspect refuses to cooperate if he or she is recorded. The penalty for noncompliance is a cautionary jury instruction that failure to record the interrogation violates state law.

House Bill 277 was referred to the committee on Criminal Justice and will now await its first hearing.