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Civil Rights; Coercive interrogation

Civil Rights
Coercive interrogation

Where officers interrogated a suspect in violation of Miranda and elicited spurious evidence leading to his prosecution, summary judgment was improperly granted to the defendants on the suspect’s civil rights claim.

“The question of coercion is separate from that of reliability.

A coerced confession is inadmissible (and this apart from Miranda) even if amply and convincingly corroborated. Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534, 540-41 (1961); Johnson v. Trigg, 28 F.3d 639, 641 (7th Cir. 1994); Parker v. Allen, 565 F.3d 1258, 1280 (11th Cir. 2009). But a trick that is as likely to induce a false as a true confession renders a confession inadmissible because of its unreliability even if its voluntariness is conceded. See, e.g., Johnson v. Trigg, supra, 28 F.3d at 641. If a question has only two answers—A and B—and you tell the respondent that the answer is not A, and he has no basis for doubting you, then he is compelled by logic to ‘confess’ that the answer is B. That was the vise the police placed Aleman in. They told him the only possible cause of Joshua’s injuries was that he’d been shaken right before he collapsed; not being an expert in shaken-baby syndrome, Aleman could not deny the officers’ false representation of medical opinion. And since he was the only person to have shaken Joshua immediately before Joshua’s collapse, it was a logical necessity that he had been responsible for the child’s death. Q.E.D. A confession so induced is worthless as evidence, and as a premise for an arrest. Crowe v. County of San Diego, 608

F.3d 406, 433 (9th Cir. 2010); Wilkins v. DeReyes, 528 F.3d

790, 800-01 (10th Cir. 2008).”

Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.

10-3523 Aleman v. Village of Hanover Park

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Bucklo, J., Posner, J.

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