June 03, 2014

In this guest post, Jenner & Block Partner Thomas P. Sullivan applauds the adoption of a new policy governing future interviews conducted by the Department of Justice investigative agencies– the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  The new policy states that (with certain specific exceptions), when questioning persons held in custody under suspicion of violating a federal criminal law, agents are “strongly encouraged” to make electronic recordings from the time “the subject enters the interview area or room until the interview is completed.”  “Apart from vastly improving federal investigative procedures, the Attorney General’s action has the potential to spur the other states in the United States, and countries worldwide, to enact mandatory recording legislation or court rules.  This will greatly improve the fairness and accuracy of all criminal law systems,” he writes.