A Win For the Rule of Law

by
Abby Zimet

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has rejected prolonged, secret questioning of crime suspects, ruling that confessions can only be used if obtained within six hours of arrest. Justice David Souter, backed by the court's more liberal justices, tossed out robbery suspect Johnnie Corley's confession because he was held by the FBI for two days beforehand.

Without such a rule, "Federal agents would be free to question suspects
for extended periods before bringing them out in the open, and we have
always known what custodial secrecy leads to," Souter wrote.

 

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