Court adopts police interrogation rule

Following the model of more than a dozen other sites, the Indiana Supreme court has added a new rule of evidence to require that certain statements be recorded before they can be entered into evidence.

Approved by a three-justice majority, today’s six-page order adds indiana Rule 617 that applies to any statements on or after jan. 1, 2011.

Noting how electronically recorded interrogations assist courtsand can be used as a potent law enforcement tool for guilt or innocence, the rule reads in part, “In a felony criminal prosecution, evidence of a statement made by a person during a Custodial Interrogation in a Place of Detention shall not be admitted against the person unless an Electronic Recording of the statement was made.”

The rule specifically mandates that an audio-video recording be made within a jail, law enforcement agaency station house, or facility owned and operated by law enforcement.