Police officers in the U.S. have a 45 to 60 percent rate of accuracy when it comes to identifying correct suspects. That is the same accuracy as a polygraph machine, which is inadmissible in court.
Law enforcement officers are taught to believe they can become human lie detectors. However, this year has set a record high for exonerations. One fourth of those exonerations gave up a false confession, incriminating themselves.
Law enforcement has a lot of power in this country, yet it has very little supervision when it comes to interrogations. In fact, only 24 states have laws regarding recording interrogations and those laws involve very specific situations.
A confession is the most incriminating piece of evidence in any case, so it should be necessary to monitor the process of interrogation to prove that it is voluntary, not coerced. After hours of interrogating, officers will use any technique necessary to apprehend a confession, no matter the moral consequences.
But to a jury, a confession is a confession. Jurors have no idea what happens behind the scenes of an incriminating statement. For decades, police have gotten away with lying to suspects, denying them basic needs and making faulty promises of leniency. In an intensely stressful situation, such as an interrogation, people will do anything to get out of it, including give up their freedom.
It is not worth it to put innocent people at risk just to close a case. Recording interrogations will greatly reduce the number of false convictions in this country.
Sarah Harsh, Normal