FALSE CONFESSIONS EVIDENCE MAKES IN- ROADS FOR NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

In a key New Jersey ruling, a Superior Court Appellate Division panel, ruled on October 16, 2013, in State v. Granskie, that evidence of a defendant’s alleged false confession may be admissible to show that drug addiction and withdrawal are recognized physical and psychological conditions that may make a suspect vulnerable to giving a false confession. The Appellate Division held that in order to have a meaningful opportunity to attack the credibility of his own confession, a defendant must be able to present to a jury relevant evidence to assist in the evaluation of the confessions reliability.
The phenomena of false “confessions” is widely accepted in the State and federal courts throughout the United States. False confessions are clearly demonstrated when the physical evidence, such as the DNA evidence, tends to rule out the “confessing” suspect. Under those circumstances, a confession must be scrutinized carefully, as it is likely a false confession, brought about by a combination of police tactics and the vulnerability of the suspect.
In the Granskie case, the State relied heavily on the defendant’s confession. The forensic evidence was inconclusive. First, the Court held that the defendant’s attorney would be able to cross-examine the police officers concerning the manner in which they conducted the interrogation. Second, and more significantly, the Court went further, and held that the defendant would be permitted to have an expert testify as to the defendant’s diagnosed mental problems and how they would have the capacity to affect the reliability of the defendant’s alleged confession.
This decision is consistent with and provides further judicial recognition that certain tactics used in police interrogations “lead to a frighteningly high percentage of people who confess to crimes they never committed.”
Any time a client presents with an alleged confession, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys should consider if the confession is the product of psychological vulnerability and police coercion in their interrogation techniques.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Schwartz & Posnock can assist you in evaluating whether an alleged confession in a particular case is subject to attack as false. You can contact us at our Monmouth County, Union County, Essex County, and Middlesex County locations to discuss your case…

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