November 15, 2010

Colorado Supreme Court decision 11-15-10


People v. Vigil             Coerced Confession / Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
I lifted this synopsis from the Court:
“The supreme court affirms a trial court’s order suppressing a defendant’s confession because, under the voluntariness requirements of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, two police officers coerced a confession from the defendant by using excessive physical force during an unlawful arrest. In addition, contraband discovered as a result of the confession and unlawful arrest was appropriately suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree.
The supreme court also affirms the trial court’s suppression of the defendant’s subsequent confession because it was infected by his earlier, coerced confession. After his arrest, the defendant received six hours of medical treatment. He was released into the custody of the same officers who had coerced his first confession, and those officers questioned him at 2:00 am. As a result, the officers were the beneficiaries of their earlier, coercive conduct.” 

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