- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The chief federal prosecutor for north Alabama says a new Justice Department policy on electronic recording is a “leap forward” for law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance of Birmingham says juries expect law enforcement officers to make recordings of defendants’ statements. She says the new guidelines will help in court.

The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies have a long-standing policy of not recording interviews. Instead, agents have talked with people and then produced written versions of their statements.

The new policy establishes a presumption that agents will record interviews with suspects who’ve been taken into custody but haven’t appeared in court. It takes effect July 11.

Vance says the new rules will help authorities sidestep unwarranted claims of agent misconduct by defendants.

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