Chapter 5 - §3. Evidence subject to exclusion for involuntariness

JurisdictionUnited States

§3. Evidence subject to exclusion for involuntariness

§3.1. Exclusion of statement. A defendant's involuntary statement cannot be used against the defendant in a criminal case for any purpose. Mincey v. Arizona (1978) 437 U.S. 385, 398; People v. Caro (2019) 7 Cal.5th 463, 492; People v. Sanchez (2019) 7 Cal.5th 14, 50; People v. Guerra (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1067, 1094, disapproved on other grounds, People v. Rundle (2008) 43 Cal.4th 76; People v. Vasila (1st Dist.1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 865, 873. Thus, it cannot be used in the prosecution's case-in-chief, for impeachment, or for rebuttal. See Mincey, 437 U.S. at 398; Guerra, 37 Cal.4th at 1094; Vasila, 38 Cal.App.4th at 873.

§3.2. Exclusion of evidence derived from statement. Generally, evidence that the police derive from a defendant's involuntary statement is presumed to be tainted and must be suppressed. People v. McWhorter (2009) 47 Cal.4th 318, 359; see People v. Beardslee (1991) 53 Cal.3d 68, 108-09; People v. Vasila (1st Dist.1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 865, 873; cf. Harrison v. U.S. (1968) 392 U.S. 219, 222 (D's admissions at trial were tainted "fruit" because admissions were motivated by earlier introduction of D's unlawful confession). To rebut this presumption, the prosecution must demonstrate a sufficient break in the causal chain between the involuntary statement and the later statement so that the later statement was not obtained by "exploitation of the illegality." People v. Sims (1993) 5 Cal.4th 405, 445. The degree of attenuation that suffices to break the causal chain requires at least an intervening independent act by the defendant or a third party. McWhorter, 47 Cal.4th at 360. Some of the factors that courts look at to determine whether sufficient attenuation has occurred are (1) the passage of time, (2) a change in location, (3) a change in the identity of the interrogating officers, (4) the flagrancy of the coercion, and (5) whether the defendant was properly given Miranda warnings. See McWhorter, 47 Cal.4th at 360-61; Beardslee, 53 Cal.3d at 109-10.

§3.3. Vicarious assertion of involuntariness. Although a defendant generally does not have standing to challenge a violation of another person's constitutional rights, use of another person's involuntary statement at the defendant's trial can be suppressed if it would violate the defendant's own due-process right to a fair trial. People v. Williams (2010) 49 Cal.4th 405, 452-53; People v. Jenkins (2000) 22 Cal.4th 900, 965-66; People v. Badgett (199...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT