Confession tossed out in Montgomery County Rape Case

Posted on: August 10th, 2011  |  No Comments

The Honorable Eric M. Johnson, Judge for the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Maryland, recently “sent a message” to local law enforcement officials when he threw out a confession in a rape case.

The suspect had been asked to come to the police station. He was taken into a room with two detectives. The detectives told the suspect that he was not under arrest, but placed him on the far side of the room, away from a closed door. The police never informed the suspect of his Miranda Rights. Eventually, the suspect confessed to committing sexual acts against his daughter, and was arrested.

The problem, according to Judge Johnson, is that the suspect was not explicitly informed that he was free to get up and terminate the conversation at any time, and that, once he began going down the path of confessing to a crime, the police did not stop and inform him of his Miranda Rights.

I don’t think any lawyer in this room belives that a person can go in a police station and confess to a violent crime and say “I’ll see you later.” That just isn’t going to happen.
- Eric M. Johnson

This decision by Judge Johnson is to be applauded. Normal citizens do not go into a police station believing that they can just get up and leave. Police stations are intimidating and a person’s will can easily be overcome, even when police are acting politely.

via The Washington Post »

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