The New York State Court of Appeals (the State’s highest Appeals Court) will be hearing a criminal case where the main issue is coercive, involuntary or false confessions made by deception to police interrogators. The court is concerned regarding the issues of psychological coercion. One of the cases the court is looking at involves a defendant who was in police custody and interrogated for nine straight hours. The police continually lied to the defendant.
The defendant eventually made an incriminating statement to the police which caused him to be convicted of the murder of his child. After nine hours of interrogation, he told the police he threw the child on a bed several times and inadvertently banged the baby’s head on the side of the crib. As a result of his conviction, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of his child.
Issues Raised On Appeal
The appeal raised a number of issues. One of the issues was that he confessed after police convinced him to make a false confession by telling him his child was still alive and the physicians needed to know what happened so that they could treat the child and save the child’s life. In this particular case, his questioning was videotaped. The New York State Court of Appeals is attempting to determine how far can the police go with deception before the polices ruse becomes coercive.
About the Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been representing individuals charged with misdemeanors and felonies throughout the metropolitan New York area for more than 45 years. He offers free consultations to his potential clients.