March 10 Lecture

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Woodsworth College Courses
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William Watson

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WDW325 March 10, 2011 Interrogations Lecture 8 Common law and Charter restrictions on Interrogations Common law must be voluntary; not the product of threat or inducement Charter must comply with s.10(b) and 7 -must advise of right to counsel -must provide opportunity to contact counsel -must stop questioning for reasonable period to allow counsel -must respect right against self-incrimination, right to remain silent Purpose of Interrogations Broadly exercise in persuasion influence subject to see the world in a particular way and to make decision according to that view (i.e. make decision to disclose informationconfess) Step 1: set the stage create sense of powerlessness Step 2: create sense of hopelessness Step 3: motivate suspect to complyspeak Purpose of Interrogation Rules Balance police interests against suspect interests -effective policing -powerful evidence -right to be left alone -protects against false confessions -confession rule puts limits on how police can interrogate people RULE: crown must prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that a confession is voluntary Voluntariness R. v. Oickle (SCC 2000) FACTS: arson case of car fires; polygraph test, told the polygraph results are inadmissible but answers may be admissible, advised of right to counsel and right to silence; advised he failed, questioned further, confessed and eventually provided a re-enactment ISSUE: was the statement voluntary? TEST: to be voluntary, confession must be a) Made in circumstances free of threats or promises; the police will have to somehow convince the suspect that it is his or her best interests to confess; becomes improper only when the inducements are strong enough to raise a reasonable doubt about whether the will of the subject has been overborne b) Made in circumstances free from oppression; depriving the suspect of food, clothing, water, sleep or medical attention; excessively aggressive, intimidating question c) Made in circumstances free from undue police trickery; confronting the suspect with inadmissible or even fabricated evidence is not necessarily grounds to exclude d) Product of an operating mind (self-induced intoxication doesnt count) FACTORS in Oikle -police minimized the seriousness of the crime there isnt much in a car fire; package deal -offered psychiatric help during the interrogation I think you need help; maybe we can get you some professional help -suggested it would be better if he confessed (implied threat or promisemoral inducement) -promise not to polygraph fiance -abuse of trust- police questioning in gentle re-assuring manner -no atmosphere of oppression -use of polygraph; admissibility of evidence; fallibility of test; voluntary or involuntary? R. v. Hoilett (1999 Ont C.A)
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