New York lawyer Scott Greenfield writes a great blog on criminal issues as well as other interesting topics . I highly recommend his blog Simple Justice. Greenfield ‘s topic today was the use of a mother to get a confession.
Jason Gonzalez was arrested for murder . Mr.Gonzalez refused to give a statement and exercised his constitutional right to remain silent . One key point to remember is your Miranda rights do not attach unless you are placed into custody. In this case , he was clearly in custody since he was taken to jail . The police did not want to give up the hopes of obtaining a confession . So , they enlisted a person Mr. Gonzalez could trust and confide in to tell his story to . The person was his mother . Good old mom wore video and recording equipment in to visit her son where a full blown confession was made and later made to detectives as well, Attorneys for Mr. Gonzalez are now trying to suppress the confession.
The defense theory was that mom was an agent of the state and used her power of influence to circumvent Mr.Gonzalez ‘s constitutional protections.
How would this play out in under Tennessee law ?
The main question is whether the behavior of law enforcement officials served to overbear the defendant’s will to resist . See State of Tennessee v. Kelly 603 S.W. 2d. 726.
So can a man charged with a crime resist confiding in his mother . No. Does this apply to jailhouse rats who try to befriend someone in order to get himself a better deal . Maybe..