Legal Updates Spring 2012

Written By: Reid
Apr 18, 2012
In our Legal Updates Spring 2012 column we feature cases that address the following issues:
  • Defendant does not have to actually speak to invoke the right to remain silent
  • Statement to suspect that he "should explain his mistake so that his daughter did not have to grow up without her dad" rendered the confession inadmissible
  • Suspect told he would "only be a witness if he had merely been present but had not been a shooter." - is this a promise of leniency?
  • Court finds testimony from Dr. Bruce Frumkin inadmissible on whether the defendant has a propensity to make a false statement
  • Is this statement an unambiguous invocation of the suspect's right to counsel - "I'd like an attorney present. I mean but I can't afford one. So I guess I'll just speak to you now. I don't have an attorney."
  • "I don't want to say anything more" is an unambiguous exercise of the defendant's right to silence
  • If a juvenile is questioned in a police car, is he in custody? In this case the court said no.
  • Rationalizing a defendant's actions (self-defense/accident) in such a way that he "might hope that he would not be charged with murder" did not render the confession inadmissible
  • Court finds that interrogators are permitted to use minimization techniques
  • Court excludes the testimony of Dr. Richard Leo: "the proposed expert testimony was little more than speculation."
  • Court does not allow Dr. Richard Ofshe to testify on false confession issues
  • Court excludes testimony of social psychologist on false confessions
  • Two courts reject the claim of ineffective counsel because an expert witness on false confessions was not called
  • Court finds use of a videotape as a prop during an interrogation acceptable
  • Interrogating a suspect after continued denials not coercive
  • Confession voluntariness: telling defendant length of punishment and misrepresenting evidence
  • Fourteenth Amendment does not require law enforcement to videotape custodial interrogations
  • Is the request by a 15 year old to speak to their mother (in a custodial setting) tantamount to requesting an attorney?
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