Wednesday, January 7, 2009

That 8 year-old's "confession"

You didn't think I was done yet, did you?

Yesterday, the prosecutor in the case of the 8 year-old (now 9) murder defendant in Arizona graciously agreed not to use the statement the boy gave to police in court -- unless the statement is necessary to rebut the boy's testimony in court. The prosecution was responding in writing to a defense motion to suppress the boy's "confession."

Well, that's great, state, but the thing that stuck out to me was that the prosecution was not in any way acknowledging that the statement was obtained illegally. I'm not really buying that. They don't think there's any legal bar to them using the statement in court but are choosing not to use it out of the goodness of their hearts? I don't know too many prosecutors who would willingly not introduce a confession during the trial. They pretty much have to know the confession won't be allowed because the judge will think it was obtained illegally no matter how much the prosecution protests. Or they have to know that the confession is ridiculously unreliable to a degree that would actually hurt the state's case rather than help it.

So, if it's bad evidence or obtained illegally (which necessarily makes it bad and unreliable), why not just admit it? It seems to me prosecutors would have more credibility when pursuing problematic cases if they would admit the mistakes that have been made. Everyone I have spoken to about this case has expressed concerns with the case. And everyone is very hesitant about that alleged confession. Wouldn't the prosecution seem more reasonable if they, too, would acknowledge concerns about the confession? I would find that a far more satisfying, and believable, response from the state rather than this, "Well, we could use it if we wanted to, we just don't want to" nonsense.


Unknown said...

They are consistent, I'll give them that. The prosecutors and the arresting officers have not taken one step backwards.

S said...

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."

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