House Bill 215
151st General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ELECTRONIC RECORDATION OF CUSTODIAL INTERROGATIONS.
Confessions are powerful evidence of guilt. Therefore, this Act adopts the Uniform Law Commission's Uniform Electronic Recordation of Custodial Interrogations Act to promote truth-finding, promote efficiency, and protect constitutional values. Specifically, this Act mandates electronic recording of the custodial interrogation process by law enforcement when the interrogation relates to a crime allegedly committed by an adult or a delinquent act allegedly committed by a child. The type of recording required, either audio or audio and video, depends on the location of the custodial interrogation. Recognizing that a blanket requirement of recording electronically all interrogations is not feasible, this Act provides 5 exceptions to the recording mandate: (1) exigent circumstances, (2) an individual's refusal to be recorded, (3) interrogations occurring in other jurisdictions, (4) when the interrogator or interrogator's supervisor reasonably believes electronic recording would reveal a confidential informant's identity or jeopardize the safety of the officer, the individual interrogated, or another individual, and (5) equipment malfunctions. Further, this Act requires the prosecution to notify the defense of an intention to introduce an unrecorded statement and of the exception that permitted the lack of recording. This Act requires the prosecution to prove by clear and convincing evidence that an exception applies. This Act also prescribes remedies for violations of the electronic recording requirement, including the giving of a cautionary instruction to the jury. Additionally, this Act provides civil immunity for both law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies. Finally, this Act requires the Council on Police Training to adopt rules to implement this Act, which are to be enforced by each law enforcement agency.