CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Old Fake Death Sentence Trick: UPDATED

Dalzell North Carolina police with arrest warrants for property crimes told Andrew Dalzell that he was a suspect in the 1997 disappearance of Debora Leigh Kay.  They put him in the back of a patrol car with a phony warrant for murder, and a phony letter from the DA saying that he would receive the death penalty unless he confessed.  Dalzell confessed to the murder.  Then and only then did police administer Miranda warnings.  Just to make sure he was totally helpful to the police, he confessed orally, in a handwritten statement, and in a typed statement.  UNC CrimProf Louis Bilionis commented that it seems to have been a case of custodial interrogation without Miranda warnings.  "[Interrogation] does not mean merely asking questions. If you use psychological ploys that are likely to elicit a response from the suspect it is the same thing as questioning the suspect." 

UPDATE: Confessions suppressed. Here's IsThatLegal's take. [Jack Chin]

Confessions and Interrogation | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Old Fake Death Sentence Trick: UPDATED:


I'm reminded of the Christian burial speech.

Posted by: Mike | Jan 4, 2005 8:50:48 PM

Jack, the judge (angrily) threw out the confession the other day.

Posted by: Eric Muller | Jan 12, 2005 5:34:19 AM

Post a comment