State supreme court upholds use of 'off the record' remarks to police | MassCops

State supreme court upholds use of 'off the record' remarks to police

Discussion in 'Court Decisions' started by cc3915, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. cc3915

    cc3915 MassCops Angel Staff Member

    BOSTON —
    Although a police officer coaxed a suspected arsonist into making incriminating statements by promising that his remarks were “off the record,” the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that the statements were given voluntarily and are, therefore, admissible in court.

    “As a general matter, law enforcement officials must exercise caution when employing deception or trickery or when giving assurances to a suspect during an interrogation. With respect to the former, we have, over the years, expressed our disapproval of police tactics that employ the use of false statements during an interrogation because such tactics cast doubt on the voluntariness of any subsequent confession or admission,” Justice Francis Spina wrote in a 5-2 ruling for the majority.

    “Nonetheless, we also have repeatedly held that such deception or trickery does not necessarily compel suppression of the confession or admission but, instead, is one factor to be considered in a totality of the circumstances analysis.”

    The ruling drew the dissent of Chief Justice Roderick Ireland and Justice Ralph Gants, who contended that statements elicited by police as a result of promises that they are “off the record” should be considered involuntary, if that promise is broken.


    Read more: State supreme court upholds use of 'off the record' remarks to police - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger
     
  2. BRION24

    BRION24 Supporting Member

    Are you sure this is a Massachusetts decision.
     
  3. cc3915

    cc3915 MassCops Angel Staff Member

    No!
     
  4. CJIS

    CJIS MassCops Member

    Liberals on the bench that day must have been sleeping.
     
  5. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 Public Trough Feeder

    From a libertarian standpoint, I'm more in line with the dissent here. There's a fine line between trickery and deception (such as saying "I have video with a guy wh looks awfully like you" when you have no such video) and a direct statement that essentially contradicts the Miranda warning, basically that the statement is "off the record" and thus will NOT be used against you in a court of law.

    However, from a proper role of the courts position, I'm pleased that stare decisis hasn't been completely shit on by the SJC, that they're repecting precedent as they should.
     
  6. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    But they stuck it to us with the Evergreen Clause
     
  7. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 Public Trough Feeder

    I agreed with that case from a legal standpoint.

    The statute says no public CBA's may extend past 3 years. An evergreen clause is part of the contract that extends past 3 years, and effectively extends the contract past that point. I'm not saying it doesn't suck for us, and I'm not saying the court's motives were genuine, but the case was good law IMO.

    If the legislature wanted to, they could amend to the law to allow for such clauses.
     
  8. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    Big shock there! :rolleyes:
     
  9. 31Aret

    31Aret MassCops Member

    Sometimes the SJC writes up opinions almost as an invitation for the legislature to draft a statute changing the case holding; the cases dealing with evergreen clauses may fall into that category . . .
     
  10. PPD54

    PPD54 Highly Dedicated, Slightly Motivated

    You beat me to it!
     

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