Evidence Obtained by Deception Okay

The delay from charges to trial did not reach the threshold of a presumptive violation of the right to a speedy trial, so no further analysis of other factors was necessary, and circuit court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to dismiss. “The State has the burden of production and persuasion to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant’s motion to suppress should be overruled at trial.” A confession is involuntary and subject to exclusion when obtained by coercion, determined by a totality of circumstances, either physical or psychological.

Physical factors include length of detention, duration of questioning, and deprivation of food or sleep. Psychological factors include age, experience, intelligence, gender, degree of education, infirmity, unusual susceptibility to coercion, advisement of rights, demeanor of interrogators, and restraints on defendant. Deception does not render defendant’s confession involuntary “unless the deception offends societal notions of fairness or is likely to produce an untrustworthy confession.” Promises of leniency render a confession involuntary but defendant’s hope for leniency, or divine forgiveness, does not. Circuit court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to suppress. 

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent vs. ERIC A. HINES, Appellant
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District – SD37164

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