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Old 03-26-2008, 06:59 AM   #21
Walt34's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 17,402
Originally Posted by honobob View Post
Walt34 did you see this?

"...a judge ruled that an investigator in the case had shown a "reckless disregard for the truth."
Yes, I did. But that's the point - there wasn't enough detail in the newspaper article to tell what the facts were - just the judge's conclusion.

An example: When I was doing fraud investigations, one of the techniques we used to get admissions/confessions was to call the guy on the telephone and get what we called a "telephonic confession". Just chat with him and see if we could get him to admit to the facts of the offense. Legally, this is absolutely useless since in court there was no way I could prove that the suspect was who I was talking to - he was just a voice on the telephone. But I could do this without the Miranda warning since he's not in custody. If he doesn't want to talk to me all he has to do is hang up. Therefore, no force, no implied threats or coercion of any kind.

But after the arrest warrant was issued, he's arrested and IS in custody and I read him his rights - the Miranda warning - "You have a right to a lawyer, ...etc." - the psychological effect of the phone call was invaluable. In his mind, he's already told me about it and we're just rehashing the same conversation. The difference is that this confession is admissible in court if the guy falls for it.

So we had one judge rule that the "telephonic confession" - and the later written confession resulting from it - "fruit of the poisonous tree" was inadmissible since the suspect was in "constructive custody" (over the telephone? That's brand new).

This was a District Court judge (lower court) so the decision was non-binding on other courts and set no precedents. We continued to use that technique until I retired with no further issues from other judges.

See how complicated it all gets, and I've grossly oversimplified the issues since I didn't want to write a book online.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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