Utility of Confessional Statement in Criminal Trials

Oyewumi Adewale 66 PAGES (20846 WORDS) Project
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Abstract

A person standing trial for a criminal offence enjoys the presumption of innocence until his guilt is proved, the proof of which must be beyond reasonable doubt. Nonetheless, the suspect can confess to the commission of the crime and the court is empowered to convict, based on the weight of such confession. Incidentally, the court is often faced with objections to the admissibility of confessional statements based on the ground of retraction or involuntariness.

Despite increased evidence that confessions may be unreliable, they remain the gold standard of evidence for police investigations. One reason for the rejection of some confessional statements is that when confessions are not voluntary there is the danger of the accused falsely implicating himself. Different countries have different rules governing the admissibility of confessions. These rules serve to guarantee that wrongful convictions do not occur. They also serve as a deterrent to abusive interrogation by the police. Some interrogative techniques violate the defendant’s free-will or procedural rights. In this research work, while relying on judicial and statutory authorities, the researcher takes a look at what confessions are. He goes further to examine the relationship between confessions, the factors that affect the admissibility of a confessional statement, and other facts related to confessions, options open to an accused person whenever a confessional statement alleged to have been made by him is sought to be tendered before the court and time to raise objection. It also focuses on the trial within trial ordered whenever the admissibility of a confessional statement is challenged on the ground of involuntariness. Particular attention is given to the position of the law in Nigeria, although references are also made to other jurisdictions. This research focuses on extra-judicial confessions.

Chapter one of the work is the General introduction, which comprise of aims and objectives of study, scope of study, research methodology, statement of the problem, literature review, definition of major terms, structure/brief outline of the work.

Chapter two of this work gives an insight into nature, scope and relevance of confessional statement; and the judge’s rule and their application in Nigeria. Chapter three focuses on utility of confessional statement in criminal trials; circumstances in which confessional statement are admissible and circumstances in which confessional statements may be vitiated.

Chapter four predominantly dwelled on retracted confessional statement and its effect on criminal trials in Nigeria. This chapter also examines whether retraction of previous confessional statements affects it's admissibility and reasons why accused persons may resile from their earlier statements. Lastly, Chapter five is the general Conclusion.

 Table of Content

CHAPTER TWO

ANALYSIS OF CONFESIONAL STATEMENT

2.0   INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………. 12

2.1     NATURE AND SCOPE OF CONFESIONAL STATEMENT...13

2.2  THE LAW AND NATURE OF VOLUNTARY CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT ……………………………………………………….. 17

2.3     RELEVANCY OF VOLUNTARY CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT ……………………………………………………….. 21

2.4     THE JUDGE'S RULES AND ITS ENFORCEABILITY IN NIGERIA. 25

2.5     CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………..31

 

CHAPTER THREE

THE TESTS OF ADMISSIBILITY OF CONFESSIONS UNDER THE LAW

3.0    INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………….. 32

3.1     RETRACTION VERSUS INVOLUNTARINESS OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT …………………………………………………………34

3.2     THE UTILITY OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENTS IN CRIMINAL TRIALS ……………………………………………………………….. 35

3.3     CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT ARE ADMISSIBLE ………………………...…39

3.4     CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH CONFESSIONAL STATEMENTS MAY BE VITIATED ………………………………………………… 43

3.4.1  UNRELIABLE CONFESSIONS.……………...……………….....  43      

3.4.1.1 REFUSAL TO GRANT ACCESS TO COUNSEL. ……………… 43

3.4.1.2 FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH RULES OF CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION. …………………………………………………44

3.4.1.3 THE MIRANDA WARNINGS. ………………………………………45

3.4.1.4 INDUCEMENT OR PROMISE. ……………………………………45

3.4.1.5 CONFESSION MADE THROUGH AN INTERPRETER …... 47

3.4.1.6 OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING RELIABILITY. ………………..48

3.4.2  CONFESSIONS OBTAINED BY OPPRESSION …………………..48

3.4.2.1 MEANING OF OPPRESSION ……………………………………..49

3.4.2.2 TORTURE, VIOLENCE OR THREATS …………………………..49

3.4.2.3 DENIAL OF FOOD OR NECESSITIES ……………………………50

3.4.2.4 UNDUE HOSTILITY OR INTIMIDATING CONDUCT …………..50

3.4.2.5 PROLONGED CUSTODY OF THE DEFENDANT ……………….52

3.5   TIME OF RAISING OBJECTION IN COURT AS TO INVOLUNTARINESS OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT ……….. 52

3.6   TRAIL-WITHIN-TRIAL AND ITS ESSENCE …………………………53

3.7     CONCLUSION

 

CHAPTER FOUR

RETRACTION OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT

4.0    INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………… 56

4.1    RETRACTION OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT. …………….56

4.2 THE EFFECT OF RETRACTION OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT IN CRIMINAL TRIALS IN NIGERIA ………………………..58

4.3     THE ADMISIBILITY OF RETRACTED CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT. ……………………………………….……………….66

4.4     CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………66

 

CHAPTER FIVE

GENERAL CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1     CONCLUSION ……………….……………………………………….67

5.2     RECOMMENDATION ……………………………………………….70

BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………………76

 

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APA

Oyewumi, A (2018). Utility of Confessional Statement in Criminal Trials. Afribary.com: Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://afribary.com/works/utility-of-confessional-statement-in-criminal-trials

MLA 8th

Adewale, Oyewumi. "Utility of Confessional Statement in Criminal Trials" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 25 Jul. 2018, https://afribary.com/works/utility-of-confessional-statement-in-criminal-trials . Accessed 13 Dec. 2018.

MLA7

Adewale, Oyewumi. "Utility of Confessional Statement in Criminal Trials". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 25 Jul. 2018. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. < https://afribary.com/works/utility-of-confessional-statement-in-criminal-trials >.

Chicago

Adewale, Oyewumi. "Utility of Confessional Statement in Criminal Trials" Afribary.com (2018). Accessed December 13, 2018. https://afribary.com/works/utility-of-confessional-statement-in-criminal-trials