Despite such verification, confessions were found to be the product of constitutionally impermissible methods in their inducement. This case illustrates a particular facet of police utilization of improper methods.
While history amply shows that confessions have often been extorted to save law enforcement officials the trouble and effort of obtaining valid and independent evidence, the coercive devices used here were designed to obtain admissions which would incontrovertibly complete a case in which there had already been obtained, by proper investigative efforts, competent evidence sufficient to sustain a conviction. The procedures here are no less constitutionally impermissible, and perhaps more unwarranted because so unnecessary. There is no reasonable or rational basis for claiming that the oppressive and unfair methods utilized were in any way essential to the detection or solution of the crime or to the protection of the public.
The claim, so often made in the context of coerced confession cases, that the devices employed by the authorities were requisite to solution of the crime and successful prosecution of the guilty party cannot here be made. Official overzealousness of the type which vitiates the petitioner's conviction below has only deleterious effects.
Here it has put the State to the substantial additional expense of prosecuting the case through the appellate courts and, now, will require even a greater expenditure in the event of retrial, as is likely. But it is the deprivation of the protected rights themselves which is fundamental and the most regrettable, not only because of the effect on the individual defendant, but because of the effect on our system of law and justice.
Whether there is involved the brutal "third degree," or the more subtle, but no less offensive, methods here obtaining, official misconduct cannot but breed disrespect for law, as well as for those charged with its enforcement. The judgment below is vacated and the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Washington for further proceedings not inconsistent herewith.
Though also charged with, and convicted of, participation in the robbery of the service station, he does not seek review of his conviction here.
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The State asserts in its brief, however, that the total time of detention prior to signing of the confession was "17 to 19" hours. We assume, for purposes here, that the hour period is sufficiently accurate. Code, Rule O, as amended, effective January 2, In fact, the petitioner's wife telephoned police at about noon on the day following the robbery, but was refused any information beyond the fact that her husband was being held. Though she identified herself and asked specifically why her husband was in jail, she was told simply "to get the morning paper and read it.
See Haley v. The police "were rather concerned primarily with securing a statement from defendant on which they could convict him. The undeviating intent of the officers to extract a confession from petitioner is therefore patent. When such an intent is shown, this Court has held that the confession obtained must be examined with the most careful scrutiny.
Nebraska, U. Justice Reed. On December 19, , at p. The report was broadcast to police cars working in the area. Twenty-five minutes later uniformed officers riding in a police car near the scene of the reported robbery observed petitioner walking down the street. As they approached him he went into the yard of a home in the vicinity. The police drove up and called to petitioner, who was questioned for a moment by one of the officers. Petitioner indicated that "he lived there" and, after talking with the officers, walked onto the porch of the house and began fumbling with the screen door as if to unlock it.
The officer remained at the curb observing petitioner, who in a few moments returned to the car and spontaneously exclaimed to the officers, "You got me, let's go. He was taken to the police station where he arrived within 20 minutes of his arrest and made a second oral confession to Lieutenant Wakeley, who was in charge of the detective office on the 4 o'clock to midnight shift. This confession was related by the lieutenant at the trial, without objection, in the following testimony:. They said they were out where they found the car.
They drove by and saw a service station which didn't seem to have any business, so they parked the car in the alley and walked into the service station, and Raymond said that he told the man it was a holdup and his brother stood behind the man and he got the money from the service station operator. He didn't think his brother got any of it. After they held up the place they ran out the door and he ran down the side street, not directly toward the car, down around toward the end of the block and come [sic] back down the alley and as he was approaching the car he saw a police officer had his brother in custody.
So he turned and ran north about two blocks and then turned and went west about three blocks before a prowl car came along and they stopped and talked to him and asked him where he was going. He said he was going home and he turned and walked up onto a porch. He stood on the porch and he said the prowl car sat out there in the street, didn't move, so he thought well, I might as well give up. So he went back and told them he was the man they were looking for.
The petitioner is neither youthful in age though his exact age is not shown by the record nor lacking in experience in law breaking. He is married and was a skilled sheet-metal worker temporarily unemployed.
Some indication of his approximate age is given by the facts that his wife had been employed for some 14 years by the same employer, and that 11 years prior to the trial he had his first brush with the law, i. Further, in he was convicted of breaking and entering, and in of robbery.
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During the same year he pleaded guilty to breaking jail and to "taking a car. He cannot, therefore, be placed in the category of those types of people with whom the Court's cases in this area have ordinarily dealt, such as the mentally subnormal accused, Fikes v. Pate, U. Colorado, U. On the contrary, he is a mature adult who appears, from his testimony at the trial, to be of at least average intelligence and who is neither a stranger to police techniques and custodial procedures nor unaware of his rights on arrest.
Thus the Court's reliance on Lynumn v. Illinois, supra, 1 is completely misplaced. I do not say that only the young, the weak and the mentally disturbed are susceptible to coercion, but only that these factors have ordinarily been involved in coerced confession cases and have been consistently regarded by the Court as important circumstances in the determination as to whether a confession was voluntarily made. Along with circumstances related to the petitioner, of course, the determination of coercion requires examination of the conduct of the police and the environment in which interrogation and confession occurred.
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We have long recognized that coercion need not be based upon the physical torture involved in Brown v. Mississippi, U. But here there is no contention by the petitioner either of physical abuse or of the more sophisticated techniques associated with police coercive practices. There was no extended or repeated interrogation, 2 no deprivation of sleep or food, 3 no use of psychiatric techniques. I cannot condone the conduct of the police in holding the petitioner incommunicado, but of course we have no supervisory power over state courts. The question under the Fourteenth Amendment is whether the will of the accused is so overborne at the time of the confession that his statement is not "the product of a rational intellect and a free will," Reck v.
Pate, supra, at , and its determination "is one on which we must make an independent [ U. We have held that the fact that one has been denied consultation with an attorney, Cicenia v. Lagay, U. Further, not even the fact that one is "held incommunicado, is subjected to questioning by officers for long periods, and deprived of the advice of counsel," without a showing that he had "so lost his freedom of action" that the confession was not his own, requires a reversal under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Lisenba v. California, supra, at Finally, the fact that police officers violated state statutes in their treatment of the petitioner does "not furnish an answer" to the question whether a confession was voluntarily made. The Court's reversal here must be based upon the fact that, on the day after petitioner's arrest, when he signed the written confession at issue, he was told that after he made a statement and was booked he could call his wife.
As to his testimony relating to the evening of his arrest, it is certainly disputed. Petitioner testified that he asked Detective Pike if he could call his wife, but Detective Pike testified that he did not even talk to petitioner. Lieutenant Wakeley testified unequivocally that petitioner made no such requests to him during their conversation, though he could not recall whether such requests were made "at any time that night.