Wrongfully convicted Floyd Bledsoe seeks videotaped interrogations in Kansas
Topeka ? A Kansas man who spent nearly 16 years in prison for a killing his brother later admitted to testified for a measure that would require law enforcement to record some interrogations.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement groups oppose the measure, which mandates recorded interrogations of suspects arrested for capital murder, first-degree murder and second-degree murder.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a House committee Thursday heard testimony from Floyd Bledsoe, who was wrongfully convicted in the 1999 murder of Camille Arfmann in Oskaloosa. His brother, Tom, originally admitted to the crime but later recanted his confessions, which were not recorded.
Floyd Bledsoe told the committee he might not have been convicted if jurors would’ve been able to hear his brother confess and hear him maintaining his innocence. Some of Bledsoe’s interrogations were recorded and others were not.
Rep. Ramon Gonzalez, R-Perry, who introduced House bill, said it’s partly in response to Bledsoe’s wrongful conviction.
“In any major crime, you probably should have a recorded interview,” he said.
Alice Craig, Bledsoe’s attorney with the Kansas University Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence, supports the interrogation recordings.
“We cannot say 16 years later how that would have impacted the investigation, but it could not have hurt,” Craig said.
Executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project, Oliver Burnette, said Bledsoe is a proponent of recorded interrogations.
“When he says, ‘This could have helped me,’ we tend to take it seriously,” he said.
The House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice will hear the legislation Thursday.