- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Evidence
- Date Filed: 11-16-2022
- Case #: A171537
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Powers, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction. Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of his motion to exclude statements that he alleged were involuntarily made during a police interview. He argued that the statements violated ORS 136.425(1) and Article I, Section 12 of the Oregon Constitution, alleging they were a product of inducement because the officer impliedly promised that he would get Defendant help if he confessed, instead of jail time. In response, the State argued that the officer’s general statements to get Defendant help were not indicative that Defendant would not also get prosecuted or face jail time if he confessed.
“[C]onfessions made by a defendant in custody that were induced by the influence of hope or fear, applied by a public officer having the prisoner in his charge, are inadmissible against the defendant.” State v. Jackson, 364 Or 1, 21 (2018) (internal quotation marks omitted). A defendant is induced if “the defendant has been told something that communicates the idea of a temporal benefit or disadvantage attached to confessing” State v. Pryor, 309 Or App 12, 19 (quoting State v. Chavez-Meza, 301 Or App 373, 387). Under State v. Center, a promise of help need not be tied to prosecutorial leniency; rather, a promise of some benefit, by itself, could suffice to improperly compel a confession. 314 Or App 813, 823 (2021).
Looking at the totality of the circumstances, the Court found that the officer’s general statements regarding getting Defendant help were not the same as promising Defendant immunity from prosecution if he confessed. Therefore, Defendant’s statements were not caused by inducement and admissible at trial. Affirmed.