The Illinois house has approved a bill requiring that most homicide-related interrogations and confessions be recorded on audio- or videotape.
The bill passed the House on a 109-7 vote. The Senate approved it 58-0. But the bill didn’t always have overwhelming support.
Governor Rod Blagojevich, who had been undecided on the issue for months, says he will sign it. His earlier fears that the new rules would be burdensome for police have been allayed, he says.
“It is extremely significant in that it will be a major step forward for law enforcement and for the entire criminal justice system in Illinois,” says Chicago attorney Thomas Sullivan, co-chairman of a commission that has recommended sweeping reforms in the capital justice system.
Authors removed a provision in the current measure that would have extended the requirement for taping interrogations and confessions to sex crimes and outlined a number of situations in which untapped evidence is still admissible.