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Ohio House sends bill seeking to decrease risk of wrongful convictions to Senate

The Ohio House unanimously passed House Bill 8 on Thursday. The criminal justice reform bill seeks to decrease the risk of wrongful convictions based on false confessions.

The bill requires audio and audiovisual recordings of custodial interrogation for most major felonies, including homicide and sexual assault, according to one of the bill’s sponsors State Representative Phil Plummer (R-Dayton).

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Under House Bill 8, a court could suppress or exclude a statement that law enforcement failed to record during interrogation of specified criminal offenses in an attempt to exclude or suppress the statement. However, the bill outlines a number of good cause exemptions outlined in the bill, including equipment malfunction or a suspect refuses to cooperate if they are recorded.

Plummer, who previously served as Montgomery County Sheriff, said the bill would increase public confidence on the professionalism and integrity of law enforcement.

“This bill may also reduce frivolous civil suits against police and municipalities for civil rights violations, saving taxpayer dollars,” Plummer said in a press release.

If passed by the Ohio Senate, Ohio would become the 25th state to enact mandatory recording laws.