Legal Updates Fall 2012

Written By: Reid
Oct 11, 2012
In our Legal Updates Fall 2012 column we feature cases that address the following issues:

  • Court finds that the research by false confession expert Dr. Richard Leo utilized "unreliable methodology" and was prone to inaccuracy or bias
  • Jury rejects testimony from Dr. James Waker of false confessions and suggestibility
  • Testimony from defense expert Dr. Stark on false confessions excluded
  • Court excludes the testimony of defense expert Dr. Bruce Frumkin because it would "lead to confusion and misunderstanding."
  • Jury rejects testimony that the Reid Technique risks unreliable and untrustworthy statements
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey finds no evidence to suggest that using the Reid Technique when questioning juvenile "deprived A.W. of any of his rights or overbore his will"
  • Juvenile confessions - the need to consider the totality of circumstances
  • The need to have clear and unequivocal Miranda waiver forms for juveniles
  • Interrogator's reference to mitigating circumstances, including the fact that the shooting may have been an "accident" or from a "fit of rage" "fall far short of being promises of lenient treatment in exchange for cooperation"
  • "If for some reason you went in [the restaurant] to do a robbery and somehow the gun went off [accident]" was not a statement that suggested leniency
  • Lying about evidence such as minimizing the victim's injury, and telling the defendant gun shot residue and eyewitnesses showed that he was the shooter, would not cause an innocent person to confess
  • Calling the defendant a liar during an interrogation does not violate the rule which prohibits a witness from giving an opinion on whether another witness is telling the truth
  • Incriminating statements admissible even though police deceived defendant about what offenses they were investigating
  • Telling a suspect he could be charged with the more serious crime of lying to the police can nullify the confession
  • Does the statement that questioning could go the "easy way" or the "hard way" constitute a threat? Not when the statement is viewed in context.
  • Confession inadmissible when police tell the suspect (in custody) that he has to hire an attorney in order to have representation during the interrogation.
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