Like Chicken Little, many police officers and prosecutors thought that the "sky would fall" when the Minnesota Supreme Court in State v. Scale in 1994 decision required that law enforcement officers electronically record all custodial interrogations. Their greatest fears were that suspects would clam up, causing officers to lose confessions and that juries would be offended by the tactics captured on tape. Neither of the fears have been realized say police officers and prosecutors in an excellent article by Shannon Prather in the St. Paul Pioneer Press reflecting on the twelve years since Scales became law. http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/15055411.htm Not only have police and prosecutors accepted this critical reform, they have embraced it and go around the country "proselytizing" about its benefits. St. Paul Police Commander Neil Nelson travels around the country training officers in how to interrogate on tape (http://www.neilnelson.com/) and Hennepin County Prosecutor (and U.S. Senatorial Candidate) Amy Klobuchar has compiled a "greatest hits" package of tapes she uses to allay the fears of prosecutors. Readers can view some of these hits at the sidebar in Shannon Prather's article.
After years of ignoring or rejecting Scales, courts around the country are beginning to follow the Minn. Supreme Court's approach of relying on the state supreme court's "supervisory powers" over the administration of criminal justice to require recording. Courts in New Jersey (State v. Cook), Wisconsin (In re Jerrell , C.J.) , and Massachusetts (Com. v. DiGiambattista) have followed Scales to either require recording or to strongly encourage it. In the post-DNA age, where false confessions have been exposed as a leading cause of wrongful convictions, I expect that other courts will soon follow this trend, especially in states where legislators continue to drag their feet.