Lawmakers propose way to prevent wrongful conviction of innocent persons

LAWMAKERS said all custodial interrogations of suspects must be electronically recorded to avoid the use of false confessions in court proceedings and prevent the conviction of innocent persons.

Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) filed House Bill 4341 or the “Preventing False Confessions Act of 2012”, directing the electronic recording of custodial interrogations to
prevent the use of false confessions.

“False confessions have led to the conviction of many innocent persons,” said Arroyo, as he urged the House Committee on Justice to endorse the passage of the measure.

Under the bill, electronic recording means an audio and visual recording that is an authentic, accurate, unaltered record of a custodial interrogation. In places of detention, the camera shall be simultaneously focused upon both the interrogator and the suspect.

Arroyo said the country has laws which outline the rights of the accused in custodial investigations; however, a practical and effective means to ensure that these rights will be upheld and protected should be established.

“One such method to prevent the occurrence of false confessions that would lead to wrongful convictions is to make an electronic recording of the entire interrogation process,” Arroyo said.

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