KUSA - A bill that aimed at preventing false confessions in high profile crimes is now working its way through the Colorado statehouse.
State representatives, members of the Innocence Project and the Colorado District Attorney's Council pushed for House Bill 16-1117, which would require police to record interrogations for Class 1, Class 2, and felony sexual assault cases.
A spokesperson for the Innocence Project says requiring the recordings would help protect many of their clients who are coerced into false confessions. One of those victims, Chris Ochoa, spoke at Thursday’s hearing. Ochoa was convicted of murder in Texas in 1988 and served 12 years before the real killer confessed.
Ochoa told the committee members that convictions like his would be eliminated if officers at the time had been required to record his interrogation.
“And it's been my life's work since I was released to have these measures so others won't have to go through it. I just hope the citizens of Colorado have the protections I didn’t have,” he said.
9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson says if the bill passes it might actually provide more of a benefit for prosecutors than defense attorneys because it would create an accurate record of what defendants said and the intonation they used.
Currently 26 states have some form of law or initiative on their books with similar mandates. And many agencies in Colorado already record interrogations.
The bill has now moved on to the house appropriations committee.
For a complete look at the bill, head to: http://bit.ly/1V7qjiC
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