State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-211

Article 8.

Electronic Recording ofInterrogations.

§ 15A‑211.  Electronicrecording of interrogations.

(a)        Purpose. – Thepurpose of this Article is to require the creation of an electronic record ofan entire custodial interrogation in order to eliminate disputes aboutinterrogations, thereby improving prosecution of the guilty while affordingprotection to the innocent and increasing court efficiency.

(b)        Application. – Theprovisions of this Article shall only apply to custodial interrogations inhomicide investigations conducted at any place of detention.

(c)        Definitions. – Thefollowing definitions apply in this Article:

(1)        Electronicrecording. – An audio recording that is an authentic, accurate, unalteredrecord; or a visual recording that is an authentic, accurate, unaltered record.

(2)        In its entirety. – Anuninterrupted record that begins with and includes a law enforcement officer'sadvice to the person in custody of that person's constitutional rights, endswhen the interview has completely finished, and clearly shows both theinterrogator and the person in custody throughout. If the record is a visualrecording, the camera recording the custodial interrogation must be placed sothat the camera films both the interrogator and the suspect. Brief periods ofrecess, upon request by the person in custody or the law enforcement officer,do not constitute an "interruption" of the record. The record willreflect the starting time of the recess and the resumption of theinterrogation.

(3)        Place of detention.– A jail, police or sheriff's station, correctional or detention facility,holding facility for prisoners, or other facility where persons are held incustody in connection with criminal charges.

(d)        ElectronicRecording of Interrogations Required. – Any law enforcement officer conductinga custodial interrogation in a homicide investigation shall make an electronicrecording of the interrogation in its entirety.

(e)        Admissibility ofElectronic Recordings. – During the prosecution of any homicide, an oral,written, nonverbal, or sign language statement of a defendant made in thecourse of a custodial interrogation may be presented as evidence against thedefendant if an electronic recording was made of the custodial interrogation inits entirety and the statement is otherwise admissible. If the court finds thatthe defendant was subjected to a custodial interrogation that was notelectronically recorded in its entirety, any statements made by the defendantafter that non‑electronically recorded custodial interrogation, even ifmade during an interrogation that is otherwise in compliance with this section,may be questioned with regard to the voluntariness and reliability of thestatement. The State may establish through clear and convincing evidence that thestatement was both voluntary and reliable and that law enforcement officers hadgood cause for failing to electronically record the interrogation in itsentirety. Good cause shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1)        The accused refusedto have the interrogation electronically recorded, and the refusal itself waselectronically recorded.

(2)        The failure toelectronically record an interrogation in its entirety was the result ofunforeseeable equipment failure, and obtaining replacement equipment was notfeasible.

(f)         Remedies forCompliance or Noncompliance. – All of the following remedies shall be grantedas relief for compliance or noncompliance with the requirements of thissection:

(1)        Failure to complywith any of the requirements of this section shall be considered by the courtin adjudicating motions to suppress a statement of the defendant made during orafter a custodial interrogation.

(2)        Failure to complywith any of the requirements of this section shall be admissible in support ofclaims that the defendant's statement was involuntary or is unreliable,provided the evidence is otherwise admissible.

(3)        When evidence ofcompliance or noncompliance with the requirements of this section has beenpresented at trial, the jury shall be instructed that it may consider credibleevidence of compliance or noncompliance to determine whether the defendant'sstatement was voluntary and reliable.

(g)        Article Does NotPreclude Admission of Certain Statements. – Nothing in this Article precludesthe admission of any of the following:

(1)        A statement made bythe accused in open court during trial, before a grand jury, or at apreliminary hearing.

(2)        A spontaneousstatement that is not made in response to a question.

(3)        A statement madeduring arrest processing in response to a routine question.

(4)        A statement madeduring a custodial interrogation that is conducted in another state by lawenforcement officers of that state.

(5)        A statement obtainedby a federal law enforcement officer.

(6)        A statement given ata time when the interrogators are unaware that the person is suspected of ahomicide.

(7)        A statement usedonly for impeachment purposes and not as substantive evidence.

(h)        Destruction orModification of Recording After Appeals Exhausted. – The State shall notdestroy or alter any electronic recording of a custodial interrogation of adefendant convicted of any offense related to the interrogation until one yearafter the completion of all State and federal appeals of the conviction,including the exhaustion of any appeal of any motion for appropriate relief orhabeas corpus proceedings. Every electronic recording should be clearlyidentified and catalogued by law enforcement personnel. (2007‑434, s. 1.)