Chapter 5 - §1. Overview

JurisdictionUnited States

§1. Overview

The U.S. Constitution provides two bases for requiring a statement to be voluntary in order to be admissible in a criminal proceeding: the Fifth Amendment's right against self-incrimination and the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Dickerson v. U.S. (2000) 530 U.S. 428, 433. The Fifth Amendment's right against self-incrimination provides that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," and the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause guarantees that no state "shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." U.S. Const. amend. 5, 14, §1. Both constitutional provisions apply to the states, and both have been interpreted to prohibit the prosecution from using any statement as evidence in a criminal proceeding that police or other government agents have forced a person to give. See Mincey v. Arizona (1978) 437 U.S. 385, 398 (involuntary statements are inadmissible for "any criminal trial use"); Malloy v. Hogan (1964) 378 U.S. 1, 7 (5th Amendment applicable to the states); Brown v. Mississippi (1936) 297 U.S. 278, 286 (14th Amendment applicable to the states); Bradford v. Davis (9th Cir.2019) 923 F.3d 599, 615 (any use of D's involuntary statement is denial of due process). The test for voluntariness is one of the totality of the circumstances and looks beyond just police conduct. See U.S. v. Preston (9th Cir.2014) 751 F.3d 1008, 1019; People v. People v. Battle (2021) 11 Cal.5th 749, 790; Flores (2020) 9 Cal.5th 371, 426; People v. Lopez (3d Dist.2020) 46 Cal.App.5th 317, 335. Although the requirements and policy reasons for excluding involuntary statements under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment were initially separate...

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