Confessions Flashcards Preview

Criminal Procedure > Confessions > Flashcards

Flashcards in Confessions Deck (39)
Loading flashcards...

When Confessions may be Inadmissible

  1. may be inadmissible if:
    1. involuntary
    2. product of delay in bringing arrested D before magistrate
    3. Miranda violation
    4. 6th am. right to counsel violation
    5. product of an unlawful arrest or detention


When a Confession is Involuntary

  1. involuntary and inadmissible if:
    1. a result of coercion or threats; or
    2. on totality of the circumstances, officer’s misconduct overcame D’s will


Effect of D's Undisclosed Mental Impairment on Confession

  1. D’s undisclosed mental impairment alone will not create involuntariness.
    1. for confession to be inadmissible, police need to coerce, not just D acting on his own mental issues


Confessions because of God

  1. God cannot coerce a confession- e.g. confession admissible if suspect confesses because he claimed God told him to and he has mental impairment.


Factors to Consider for Involuntary Confessions

  1. deception of the suspect by officers
  2. delay in presenting the suspect before a magistrate, and
  3. promise of a specific benefit made by a person in authority


Deceit by Officer standard for involuntary confessions

  1. Deceit by officer must be over-the-top deceitful. Regular, run-of-the-mill lying does not make confession involuntary


Application of Confession Laws on Exam

  1. Standard pretty tough, unlikely to be inadmissible. unless something crazy happens.
    1. when in doubt, likely admissible. and not coerced.


When Miranda Rights Apply

  1. When suspect is:
    1. suspect is subject to interrogation, and

suspect is in custody, that is arrested or its


When Miranda Rights Don't Apply

  1. Miranda not applicable during a nonarrest Terry traffic stop.


How to Tell if D is in Custody for the Purposes of Miranda

  1. How to tell if in custody:
    1. look for things like handcuffs, weapons drawn
  2. Functional equivalent could be some police officers coming to your house at 4 AM and asking you questions.


Interrogation Defined for the purposes of Miranda

  1. Any conduct the police knew or should have known was likely to elicit an incriminating response.
  2. Any action which the officer should reasonably know is likely to result in an incriminating response is the equivalent of interrogation
    1. e.g. “I know you invoked, but your friends saw you do it,” any blurted statement in response inadmissible.


Miranda Interrogation Rule Exception

  1. Miranda does not apply to incriminating statements made spontaneously, since they are not the product of interrogation.


Miranda and Undercover Officers

  1. Undercover officers posing as friends do not violate Miranda.
  2. Ratioale: Suspect thinks the other person is a friend, must feel as though he’s in custody/coerced/dominated by police.
  3. BUT, note that they do violate 6th am. right to counsel


Public Safety Exception to Miranda

  1. If interrogation is prompted by an immediate concern for public safety, Miranda warnings are unnecessary and any incriminating statements are admissible against the suspect.
    1. e.g. man in custody with empty holster on belt. Cops can ask him where the gun is.


Miranda Requirements

  1. The same shit you hear on TV all the time
  2. suspect has right to counsel present during questioning.
  3. Suspect must be given warnings:
    1. right to remain silent.
    2. Anything said may be used against the suspect.
    3. Right to have an attorney present
    4. Right to appointed attorney if unable to provide own


How to ensure confession complies with Miranda and is thus Admissible

Admissible if prosecution shows:

  1. warnings were given, and
  2. suspect made voluntary and knowing waiver of:
    1. the right to an attorney, and
    2. the right to remain silent.
    3. (suspect often initials/signs paper with rights on them that waives those rights)


Miranda Waiver Requirements

  1. knowing and intelligent
  2. voluntary



Definition of Knowing and Intelligent for the Purposes of Miranda

  1. knowing and intelligent
    1. suspect must understand:
      1. the nature of the right, and
      2. the consequences of abandoning those rights


Definition of Voluntary for the Purposes of Miranda

  1. Voluntary
    •  must not be the product of police coercion


How Miranda Waivers are Judged

  • Judged under totality of the circumstances test. 
  • Must be a showing that the detainee received Miranda warnings and then chose to answer questions


Burden of Proof for Miranda Waivers

  1. Burden of proof is on prosecution by preponderance of the evidence


Personal Nature of Miranda Rights

  1. Miranda rights are personal
    1. must be invoked by suspect, not the lawyer
    2. Even if lawyer wants to be present for the questioning, suspect can still waive rights and confess without attorney.


Subsequent Re-Assertion of Miranda rights after waiver

  1. If you waive, then re-assert right to counsel, cops must immediately stop questioning until suspect gets counsel.


Effect of D Invoking Miranda 5th Am. Right to Remain Silent

  1. Once invoked, police must “scrupulously honor” a suspect’s request to remain silent.
    1. This means, at the very least that the police cannot badger a suspect into talking.
  2. But, police can wait a respectful period of time and re-approach suspect asking to talk.


Effect of D invoking 5th Am Miranda right to counsel

  1. all interrogation must cease once suspect invokes right unless a suspect re-initiates.
    1. police cannot re-approach the suspect without an attorney present


Expiration of 5th Am Miranda Right to Counsel

  • Request for counsel expires 14 days after suspect is released from Miranda custody.
  • Suspect may then be questioned regarding the same matter after receiving a fresh set of Miranda warnings.


Clarity Requirement for 5th am Miranda right to counsel

  1. If suspect wants to invoke counsel, they must be very clear. An ambiguous invocation of the right to counsel not good enough.
    1. e.g. “I think I want a lawyer”


Offense Specificity of 5th Am Miranda Right to Counsel

  1. 5th am right to counsel is not offense specific. So, interrogation following a request for counsel under Miranda is prohibited as to all topics, outside the presence of the suspect’s atty.
    1. i.e. if suspect invokes, invocation is good for all crimes cops want to question him about.


Admissibilty of Statements Obtained in Violaton of Miranda

  • incriminating statements obtained in violation of a suspect’s Miranda rights are inadmissible in the prosecutor’s case in chief
    • but, may be used to impeach the defendant’s testimony on cross.
  • Not admissible to use against 3rd party witnesses.


Admissiblity of Evidence Gathered from tainted Miranda Statement

  1. Failure to give a suspect Miranda warnings does not require suppression of the physical fruits from incriminating statements, provided the statements are voluntary.