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Obtaining Statements and Confessions for Use as Evidence
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  1. Obtaining Statements and Confessions for Use as Evidence Chapter 12

  2. I. Confessions Versus Incriminating Statements • Confession-generally viewed the same as a guilty plea in open court • Incriminating statement-”…any statement or conduct from which guilt of the crime can be inferred”

  3. II. Corpus Delicti Rule • Proof that the crime was committed • “…to protect the defendant against the possibility of fabricated testimony which might wrongfully establish the crime and the perpetrator.”

  4. III. To Be Admissible, Statements Must Be Voluntary A. Involuntary statements not admissible B. Courts look at the totality of the circumstances

  5. IV. Miranda Requirements A. Additional requirements imposed by Supreme Court in Miranda decision B. Warnings 1. Right to remain silent 2. Anything said may be used 3. Right to presence of attorney 4. If suspect cannot afford attorney, one will be appointed C. Miranda applies only if suspects are: 1. In custody 2. Interrogated by government

  6. IV. Miranda Requirements(cont’d) D. To make statement admissible, government must show: 1. Proper warnings were given 2. Suspect understood warnings 3. Suspect validly waived rights E. Warnings not required: 1. If no custody or government interrogation 2. If only traffic stops or Terry stops 3. For routine booking questions 4. When questioning is by private citizens 5. Public safety exception

  7. V. Massiah Doctrine (Sixth Amendment) A. Two requirements to have Sixth Amendment right to attorney pre-trial 1. Criminal prosecution has begun (e.g., indictment) 2. Step is critical stage (e.g., police interrogation) B. After criminal prosecution has begun, defendants have a right to the presence of an attorney at interrogation C. This right (unlike Miranda) is offense-specific

  8. VI. Bruton Rule • Confession by one suspect cannot be used against the defendant unless the defendant has an opportunity to cross-examine the suspect who confessed 1. Involved violation of confrontation clause 2. Solutions a. Try suspects separately b. Cut out (redact) references to other suspect

  9. VII. Polygraph Results Not Admissible in Most Jurisdictions • A belief that polygraph results are not sufficiently reliable and trustworthy • The tendency of juries to rely too heavily on the report of polygraph examiners who appear as expert witnesses in criminal or civil cases • The inability of trial courts to judge the competency of polygraph examiners

  10. VIII. Voice Spectrography Evidence Not Admissible in Most Jurisdictions • Doesn’t Meet the Requirements of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence • Two names to keep in mind: Frye and Daubert