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CHAPTER 8 OUTLINE
Terms in this set (43)
Confessions play an ambivalent role in society and law, an ambivalence that is ancient.
they provide access to defendants' innermost beliefs. knowledge, and thinking; They are also so powerful evidence of guilt and remorse.
Defendants confess their guilt or make incriminating statements in four settings:
they confess to friends to associates, who report these statements to officials; they confess during plea bargaining or while pleading guilty( the most common setting); they confess during sentencing when making incriminating statements to show their remorse; They confess during police interrogations following their arrest.
The atmosphere in police stations is:
strange and intimidating. suspects are searched thoroughly, have to stand in lineups, and are interrogated nonstop.
As soon as police officers have shifted their search from a general investigation to building a case against an individual:
the accusatory stage of the criminal process- the needs to law enforcement versus the interests of individual privacy and liberty carry higher stakes for both suspects and law enforcement.
Defining the proper constitutional balance between law enforcement:
needs and suspects' privacy has created much controversy.
Fred Inbau professor of law cited why he supported interrogations;
police cant solve many crimes unless guilty people confess or suspects give information that can convict someone else./ Criminals dont confess unless the police either catch them in the act or interrogate them in private./police have to use "less refined methods" when they interrogate suspects than are "appropriate for the transaction of ordinary, every day affairs by and between law abiding citizens.
Some empirical research suggets that;
interrogators rarely coerce suspects to confess.
almost all interrogations last less than one hour.
64% of suspects interrogated after they waive their rights incriminated themselves.
We know that there are false confessions, what DONT WE KNOW?
how often they occur/how often they lead to wrongful convictions/how much social harm they cause
Interrogations leading to confessions
arent recorded in most cases
currently only two states require;
officers to videotape interrogations.
arguments in favor for video taping:
1. it creates an objective, reviewable record.
2. it enhances jurors and judges assessment of credibility by providing a complete record
3.it provides judges and juries with a more accurate picture of what was said, bc words can convert different meanings depending on the intonation.
4. it improves the quality of police work by providing both good and bad examples for training police interrogations.
5. it preserves judicial resources by discouraging defendants from raising frivolous pretrial challenges to confessions.
arguments against video taping
1. the cost is significant
2.it interferes with interrogation techniques
3.suspects may be reluctant to speak in front of cameras
The right to remain silent( against self incrimination) is?
ancient and controversial;
1. jesus invoked it
2.talmudic law commanded it
The U.S. supreme court has relied on three provision in the constitution to develop rules to control police interrogations and confessions;
1. the fourteenth amendment due process clause
2. the sixth amendment right to counsel clause
3.The fifth amendment self incriminating clause
The due process approach
1. due process approach is that all confessions must be voluntary or theyre not reliable.
2.the reliability rationale for due process approach is that admitting unreliable evidence to prove guilt denies defendants the right to their lives, liberty, and/or property without due process of law.
3.According to the accusatory system rationale, forced confessions violate due process even if theyre true; under our system, the government alone has the burden of proving guilt.
Because involuntary confessions are unreliable and contrary to the accusatory system of justice, all confessions are
coerced if they're not the product of the rational intellect and a free will.
most early cases that the U.S. supreme court threw out involving false confessions dealt with?
white mobs who had rounded up poor, illiterate blacks and tortured them until they confessed.
1. The U.S. supreme court held that as soon as a police investigation focuses on a particular suspect, criminal prosecution beings and the right to counsel attaches( sixth amendment)
2. The court soon shifted to the fifth amendment self-incrimination approach in the Miranda v. Arizona
To decide whether a police custodial interrogation was inherently coercive before formal charges were filed...
the court relies on the 5th amendment
For defendants to claim their fifth amendment rights were violated they have to prove:
1. compulsion-whether testimony was compelled is measured by the totality of the circumstances/ according to due process, confessions must be voluntary and knowing.
3.testimony- is the content of what you say and write/the government cant force defendants to give testimony against themselves-the meaning of "witness against himself"./ The fifth amendment protects testimony, not physical evidence) for ex; blood,hair,samples, DNA evidence.)
Miranda V. Arizona
The U.s. supreme court established a " bright line rule" to govern custodial interrogation.
Custodial interrogation is? ; because of what?
inherently coercive; because
1. suspects are held in strange surroundings where they are not free to leave
2. skilled police officers use unrefined methods to "crack" the will of the suspects.
The Miranda bright line rules
SCOTUS intended the miranda warnings to prevent police coercion while still allowing police pressure.
whenever police officers conduct a custodial interrogation, they gave to give suspects the four warnings?
1. you have the right to remain silent
2.any incriminating statements you make will be used in court.
3.you have the right to a lawyer
4. if you cant afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
The court establishes five " bright line" rules for the interrogating officer, which officers dont need to tell suspects:
1. interrogation has to stop immediately if suspects indicate at any time they don't want to talk further.
2. interrogation has to stop immediately if a suspect indicates in any manner she wants a lawyer.
3.any statement without a lawyer places a "heavy burden on the goevernment to prove defendants waived their right to remain silent and their right to a lawyer"
4. Statements obtained in violation of the rules cant be admitted into evidence.
5. suspects cant be punished for asserting their right to remain silent.
Miranda v. Arizona doesnt ....
command officers to warn suspects whenever they arrest them. they are required to only if they take suspects into custody and interrogate them.
What is the meaning of Custody?
as being held by the police in a police station or depriving an individual of " freedom of action in any significant way".
The court sent the message that Miranda targets?
coercive environments, not just coercive places.
circumstances that show custody?
a. whether officers had probable cause to arrest
b. whether officers intended to detain suspects
c. whether suspects believed their freedom was significantly restricted
d. whether their investigation had focused on the suspect
e. the language officers use to summon suspects
f. the physical surroundings
g. the amount of evidence of guilt officers presented to suspects
h. how long suspects were detained
i. the amounts and kinds of pressure officers used to detain suspects.
Interrogation means something different in the
5th,6th, and 14th amendments.
the 5th amendment requires?
Coercion; the sixth amendment doesn't.
The 5th amendment "functional equivalent of a question" test provides
less protection to suspects
come into play whenever a person in custody is subjected to either express questioning or its functional equivalent.
The 6th amendment "deliberately Eliciting a response" test provides
broader protection for interrogated suspects and more restrictions on interrogating officers.
As soon as the government starts formal proceedings...
the 6th amendment right to counsel kicks in.
Under the public safety exception, if Mirandizing a suspect would endanger an officer or somebody nearby....
officers don't need to read a suspect the warnings.
Because so many suspects waive their rights and talk to interrogators with no lawyer in sight, two questions are of great constitutional concern:
1. what is a valid waiver of the right against self-incrimination?
2. what is a voluntary confession?
There are two waiver tests:
1. express waiver test- suspect makes it clear that he knows his rights, knows he's giving them up, and knows the consequences.
2.Implied waiver test- The totality of circumstances surrounding each case has to prove that before suspects talked, they knew their rights, and knew they were giving them up.
3. the supreme court has adopted a the implied waiver test.
Circumstances relevant to showing a voluntary and knowing waiver include;
6.ability to understand English
7.Familiarity with the criminal justice
Most suspects talk when interrogated because
knowledge is a two way street.
Confessions are involuntary only if the
totality of circumstances proves two things
1. officers engaged in coercive conduct during the interrogation.
2. the coercive conduct caused the suspect to make incriminating statements.
The most common circumstances courts consider in determining whether coercive action caused people to confess include:
1. location and questioning
2.the initiator of the contact with the officer
3. whether miranda warnings were given
4.the number of interrogators
5.the length of questioning
6.whether the police used threats,promises,lies, or tricks
8.whether suspect was denied access to a lawyer
9.the suspects ascribed and achieved status
Courts have ruled that none of the following actions caused suspects to confess:
1. promises of leniency
2.promises of treatment
3.confronting the accused with other evidence of guilt
4.The interrogators appeal to the defendants emotion
5. false and misleading statements made by the interrogator
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