Coerced Confessions: Arizona v. Fulminante

In Arizona v. Fulminante, the Supreme Court ruled that “coerced confessions” may be admitted as trial evidence in some cases,… read more

In Arizona v. Fulminante, the Supreme Court ruled that “coerced confessions” may be admitted as trial evidence in some cases, changing a position that dates back almost 100 years. The vote was 5-4, with Judge Rehnquist writing the opinion. The change is directly related to the “harmless error” appellate court doctrine. This typically involves circumstances where a trial judge has made an honest mistake in court procedure, and the appellate court decides that a new trial is not needed, because the jury would have reached the same verdict based on the strength of other evidence. This comes out of the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination. Prof. Wasserstrom said he thought the media was exaggerating the importance of the decision. "I don’t think, as a practical matter, there will be many cases where the appellate court will find there’s (harmless) error." close

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Coerced Confessions: Arizona v. Fulminante

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Program ID:
17377-1
Category:
Interview
Format:
Interview
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Mar 29, 1991

Airing Details

  • Mar 29, 1991 | 10:33am EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Mar 29, 1991 | 1:37pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Mar 29, 1991 | 4:16pm EST | C-SPAN 1
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