Here's one more example of why it is is critical that the FBI start recording their interrogations. Without a recording in this case, the subtle threat conveyed by the agent to the suspect would have gone unnoticed. A federal judge in Indiana recently tossed out the videotaped confession of a Valapraiso, Ind. man who was charged with soliticiting sex from an undercover FBI man posing as a 13 year old girl. Why? Because the FBI ran roughshod over Mr. Hensley's right to counsel, convincing Hensley to answer questions even after Hensley clearly invoked his right to counsel. At the outset of the interrogation, Hensley told FBI Agent Demetrius Flowers that he wanted a lawyer present before answering questions. Flowers then told Hensley that if he refused to give a statement a judge was more likely to keep him in jail after the detention hearing.
"Once I step in front of the judge," said Flowers, "he is going to hear my side of the story and he is not going to hear anything you have to say and that is going to go a long way towards deciding whether you stay in custody or not."
Judge Philip P. Simon, in tossing the statement, wrote: "Agent Flowers gave the Miranda warnings with onme hand and snatched them away with the other."
Hensley's lawyer, Alex Woloshansky, stated: "I am all for videotaped interrogations ... what happens in the privacy of the interrogation room often doesn't get accurately relayed in a courtroom."