State v. Griffin

*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** STATE v. GRIFFIN—CONCURRENCE AND DISSENT ECKER, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part.1 The interrogating police detectives lied to the defen- dant, Bobby Griffin, about evidence of his guilt, threat- ened to arrest his family members, falsely indicated that the crime of which he was accused exposed him to the death penalty, and falsely indicated that he would face a lesser charge if he confessed to the theory of the crime proposed to him by the interrogating officers. The majority acknowledges that these types of interro- gation tactics can be coercive in some circumstances, and expresses disapproval of some of them, but ulti- mately concludes that each of these deceptive tactics was noncoercive in the present case. I respectfully dis- agree. The flaw in the majority’s analysis is twofold. First, it gives insufficient weight to the coercive effect of certain tactics used by the police to extract a confession from the defendant. Second, it fails to acknowledge or to appreciate that these tactics were not discrete and unrelated but, rather, integrally coordinated parts of a well established and widely used interrogation method specifically designed to employ psychological manipu- lation as a means to overwhelm a suspect’s will. Seeing the interrogation for what it was—which is to say, assessing the cumulative effect of the numerous coer- cive tactics employed in the present case in their total- ity—it is clear that the state did not meet its burden of proving that the defendant’s confession was voluntary. I reach this conclusion by application of settled legal principles in parts I and II of this opinion. At the end of part II, I address the majority’s response to this analysis. Part III, although not necessary to the conclusion I reach in this particular case, goes on to discuss in greater detail the particular interrogation tactic of lying about inculpatory evidence and explains why we should adopt …

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