November 6, 2012

"Man makes deathbed murder confession - then recovers!"

He said: "I have something to tell you. I have to get something off my conscience and you need to hear this... I killed somebody. I beat her to death."

Perhaps he survived because he cast off the burden of the secret.

20 comments:

Shining Wit said...

Would still seem to fit under the "dying confessions" exception to hearsay.

Chip S. said...

I'm guessing that he wasn't read the Miranda warning prior to confessing.

Geraldus Maximus said...

Never doubt that God has a great sense of humor. If you have any doubts read the Old Testament book of Esther. I laugh every time.

echo said...

To the grave... that's where my secrets will go.

Kylos said...

I don't know much about legal matters other than what I pick up through incidental reading. What makes a confession valid vs being considered hearsay? Multiple witnesses? A signed affidavit? Courtroom testimony or a deposition?

Ann Althouse said...

"Would still seem to fit under the "dying confessions" exception to hearsay."

It's also an admission by a party, so you don't need an exception. It's not hearsay.

Ann Althouse said...

And the exception is called "dying declaration"... it's usually the murder victim and it relates only to the subject matter of the death, not to random things in the past.

Ann Althouse said...

Evidence Rule 804 makes an exception for: "Statement Under the Belief of Imminent Death. In a prosecution for homicide or in a civil case, a statement that the declarant, while believing the declarant’s death to be imminent, made about its cause or circumstances."

Cedarford said...

Ooooops!
"Can I take that back, seeing how I lived and all that??"

Cedarford said...

Ooooops!
"Can I take that back, seeing how I lived and all that??"

Nathan Alexander said...

Not that I have ever or would ever murder someone, but if I were in that situation, my defense would probably be either:

1) heart-attack (or heart attack drug) induced delirium

or

2) I became very familiar with the case due to the false accusation, and felt great empathy for the family. I'm an atheist, and believe once you're gone, you're gone. So I thought a harmless lie that can't hurt me might help her family find some peace...

Probably #1 would have a better chance to work.

traditionalguy said...

No wonder the catholic Priests keep the confession secrets.

As their lawyer, I advise all of my dying clients to STFU.

The Estate could be liable in civil damages as well.

AllenS said...

That's why waterboarding is so awesome. Nothing like getting someone to think that they are going to die, to get them to confess.

Shining Wit said...

Ann,

Thanks, I couldn't remember the word "declaration" and was disinclined to Google. You are of course right about it also being a party admission.

Cheers,

Shining Wit

edutcher said...

The old "The king is dead" gag applies here.

Shining Wit said...

Oh I see also it wouldn't fit because it doesn't relate to the cause of death, as you said. Man, I suck at evidence.

Scott said...

Kind Hearts and Coronets

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chrisnavin.com said...

Ha-ha, just kidding.

I swear, it was a joke.

chrisnavin.com said...

"You really thought I was serious, didn't you"

"Did you tell anyone?...because I was obviously delirous."

"The police don't need to find out about this, you know...it's not going to solve anything."

"Look at my eyes...look into my eyes..."