21 Pages Posted: 24 May 2018 Last revised: 23 Feb 2020
Date Written: April 18, 2018
Over the past several years, many have taken note of the special interrogation protections afforded to the police when they become the target of internal or criminal investigation. There is also widespread agreement that existing interrogation protections for ordinary criminal suspects are not strong enough.
In this symposium essay, we propose a novel method by which the federal government could combat this sort of distributional inequality in the criminal justice system, while promoting broader reform in police interrogation procedures. We propose that Congress use its spending power to condition federal funds to police departments on the adoption of uniform, minimum protections for both police and civilian suspects facing interrogations.
Admittedly, Congress has rarely conditioned federal grants to police departments on the protection of individual rights. Nevertheless, we argue that such an approach is normatively desirable and constitutionally permissible.
Keywords: interrogations, policing, police misconduct, police reform
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation