New York’s highest court says police can go too far lying to suspects, making confessions inadmissible as evidence when the lies told during interrogations become “patently coercive.”
The Court of Appeals, ruling unanimously, has thrown out the murder conviction of 31-year-old Adrian Thomas and ordered a new trial without his purported confession.
The Troy man’s infant son died with a head injury and infection in 2008.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman writes that investigators improperly told Thomas they’d pick up his wife if he didn’t confess to injuring his son and that his already brain dead child would die if he didn’t explain how the child hit his head.
They also told him 67 times it was an accident, 14 times that he wouldn’t be arrested and eight times that he’d be going home.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.