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Both sides like FBI policy on recording interviews

FBI Investigation graphic
FBI Investigation graphic

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota's top federal prosecutor says a new Justice Department policy on electronic recording is a good idea and cites a recent case in which prosecutors had to deal with competing confessions.

A federal public defender calls it an important step.

The new policy assumes that agents will record interviews with suspects who have been taken into custody, but haven't appeared in court.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon says recordings were key pieces of evidence in a recent North Dakota case involving a man convicted of killing two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Neil Fulton, head of the federal public defender's office for the Dakotas, says the policy shift is important to help ensure a ''full and fair court review'' of statements, but noted that it doesn't cover all interviews.

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