Broken Promises and Involuntary Confessions: May a State Introduce Incriminating Statements Made by a Defendant as a Result of Promises in a Plea Bargain Agreement if the Defendant Breaches That Agreement
There is a substantial constitutional question concerning whether admissions made pursuant to a plea bargain that the defendant has breached are admissible under the fifth amendment's privilege against compelled self-incrimination or the due process clauses of the fifth and fourteenth amendments. Courts have reached conflicting results in regard to whether such statements are voluntary.10 This Article argues that it is difficult to resolve whether such admissions are voluntary because courts have not provided a clear definition as to under what circumstances a confession is voluntary in accordance with the dictates of the fifth and fourteenth amendments. Instead of focusing on whether these types of admissions are voluntary, it may be more fruitful to ask whether a defendant can waive his right to exclude involuntary admissions by intentionally breaching a plea agreement. In Ricketts v. Adamson,11 the United States Supreme Court recently held that a defendant under certain circumstances can waive his rights under the fifth amendment's double jeopardy clause by intentionally breaching a plea agreement. This Article concludes that the waiver analysis in Ricketts may be applied to confessions made in connection with an aborted plea bargain and that even involuntary confessions may be used against a defendant who intentionally breaches a plea agreement that contains a written waiver clause to that effect.
Bradford C. Mank,
Broken Promises and Involuntary Confessions: May a State Introduce Incriminating Statements Made by a Defendant as a Result of Promises in a Plea Bargain Agreement if the Defendant Breaches That Agreement,
36 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol36/iss3/6