TITLE 12
Criminal Procedure

CHAPTER 12-7
Arrest

SECTION 12-7-22


§ 12-7-22 Electronic recording of custodial interrogations task force.

(a) In order to:

(1) Minimize the likelihood of a wrongful conviction caused by a false confession; and

(2) Further improve the already high quality of criminal justice in our state, the general assembly creates a taskforce to investigate and develop policies and procedures for electronically recording custodial interrogations in their entirety.

(b) The task force shall be comprised of the following or their designees:

(1) Attorney general;

(2) Public defender;

(3) Superintendent of the Rhode Island state police;

(4) President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs' Association;

(5) Head of the municipal police training academy;

(6) President of the Rhode Island Bar Association;

(7) President of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers;

(8) Public safety commissioner of the city of Providence;

(9) Chief of police of a department with less than forty-five (45) sworn officers and that does not currently have an established policy concerning the electronic recording of custodial interrogations, to be agreed upon by the task force;

(10) Chief of police of a department (other than one separately designated herein) that already has established a policy concerning the regular, electronic recording of custodial interrogations, to be agreed upon by the task force; and

(11) Executive director of the Rhode Island commission for human rights.

(c) The attorney general and public defender shall serve as co-chairpersons of the task force and have the authority to call for and designate the time and place of meetings. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold meetings. The task force shall act only on an affirmative vote of a majority of those voting. All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to the task force and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable by the task force to facilitate the purposes of this section.

(d) The task force, in consultation with whatever experts it may deem appropriate, shall study and make recommendations concerning the establishment of a statewide law enforcement practice of electronically recording custodial interrogations in their entirety. In so doing, the task force shall consider, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Models from other federal and state jurisdictions;

(2) Current policies, procedures, and practices of law enforcement statewide;

(3) Types of crimes, investigations, and settings where custodial interrogations should be electronically recorded;

(4) Whether custodial interrogations should be electronically recorded using audio-visual or strictly audio recording;

(5) Whether custodial interrogations should be electronically recorded with or without the knowledge of the suspect;

(6) Appropriate procedures to be followed when the suspect refuses to be, or exigent circumstances otherwise prevent, the electronic recording of the custodial interrogation;

(7) How to most effectively record interrogations in view of an individual police department's fiscal, staffing, and space constraints;

(8) Appropriate policies and procedures concerning the transcription of the electronic recordings resulting from custodial interrogation;

(9) Appropriate policies and procedures concerning the long-term preservation and storage of the electronic recordings resulting from custodial interrogation; and

(10) The desirability of written policies, procedures, training, and/or additional legislation regarding the electronic recording of custodial interrogations in their entirety statewide.

(e) The task force shall submit a report on its recommendations concerning the investigation and development of policies and procedures for electronically recording custodial interrogations in their entirety. This report shall be presented to the governor, the chief justice of the Rhode Island supreme court, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the judiciary committees of both the house of representatives and the senate no later than February 1, 2012. Thereafter, the task force shall meet periodically in order to assess the impact of the recommendations it has made; conduct further research in the area of the electronic recording of custodial interrogations; assess the implementation of written policies in these areas by Rhode Island law enforcement agencies; and determine whether or not any additional legislation regarding the electronic recording of custodial interrogations in their entirety statewide is required. Said meetings shall be called by agreement of the attorney general and public defender. A supplemental report from the task force shall be delivered in the same manner as its initial report and not later than December 31, 2014.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2011, ch. 43, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 130, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 59, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 77, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 35, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 43, § 1.)