SCOTUS Knocks Out Some Voluntary Confessions

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in Corley v. U.S. that voluntary confessions obtained by federal officials may be inadmissible if not presented before a court in a timely manner. Justice David Souter wrote for the majority that “federal agents would be free to question for extended periods before bringing them out in the open, and we have always known what custodial secrecy leads to…”

SCOTUSblog has some good background on this case:

A Court that has completely changed in membership since 1957 gave new life to their predecessors’ decision that year in Mallory v. U.S., a ruling intended to do away with secret interrogation that produced confessions to crime.  Just as the modern Court in 2000 spared another “Warren Court” precedent, Miranda v. Arizona, from a congressional assault mounted years earlier, the majority on Monday did the same for Mallory.

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One response to “SCOTUS Knocks Out Some Voluntary Confessions

  1. SCOTUS knocked out nothing in this case.

    They leave to the lower courts to determine whether the defendant’s oral confession can still survive, notwithstanding the reaffirmation of the McNabb and Mallory rules.

    And the case appears to make little practical difference in state court prosecutions.

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