People v. Suggs, 2016 IL App (2d) 140040 (June). Episode 199 (Duration 9:35)
Recorded interrogations can be used to justify an interrogation that occurred of a Defendant held well over 98 hours.
Defendant was arrested for an armed robbery of a convenience store, but the police also had a recent murder of a Check ‘n Go and go employee killed during a robbery that they were investigating.
He was arrested in Wisconsin.
Defendant argues that his fourth-amendment right against unlawful detention was infringed (U.S. Const., amend. IV; Gerstein, 420 U.S. 103).
He said he was held with no probable-cause determination and interrogated over a 98-hour period before he confessed.
Further, he argued that the State failed to promptly present him for a judicial determination of whether probable cause existed to believe that he had committed the Check ’n Go offense and that the extremely long delay contributed to making his statement to the police involuntary.
Essentially, he was saying that because of the remarkably long and unexplained delay before the State sought a judicial probable cause determination, his statement to police regarding the Check ’n Go murder was involuntary.
See Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103 (1975) (holding that a defendant arrested without a warrant and charged by an information must be promptly presented to a neutral magistrate for a determination whether probable cause to arrest exists).
Also, an accused in custody must, generally, be taken before a neutral magistrate for a probable cause hearing within 48 hours of arrest. See County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 56 (1991).
Illinois case law says that when an accused individual does not receive a probable cause determination within 48 hours, the State bears the burden of demonstrating the existence of a bona fide emergency or other extraordinary circumstance to justify the delay. People v. Willis, 215 Ill. 2d 517, 527 (2005).
Thus, outright suppression of a statement is not automatic after a violation.
Instead, after a violation the court must simply ask whether the confession was voluntary—whether the inherently coercive atmosphere of the police station was the impetus for the confession or whether it was the product of free will.
Yea, But What About Long Delays?
With this in mind, judges also realize that an extraordinarily long delay which itself raises the inference of police misconduct could, at some point, render any confession involuntary.
The longer the delay, the greater the probability that the confession will be held involuntary. At some point, a delay will become so long that it alone is enough to make a confession involuntary.
This case did not meet this threshold because Defendant was initially arrested for an attempted murder and robbery in another case.
He was arrested on a court approved warrant on that charge and he failed to make his bail, so he was in lawful custody when the murder investigation began.
Throughout the entire subsequent interrogation, defendant was in lawful custody.
The court held that the fact that defendant had been lawfully detained on one crime serves to dispel any concerns about unlawful detention of another crime pursuant to Gerstein and McLaughlin.
Defendant argued that, if the court determines that Gerstein/McLaughlin concerns are not implicated in this case, they are effectively using the probable-cause determination for one offense to stand in place of the necessary probable-cause determination for another offense.
The court disagreed, saying that the fact that defendant was properly detained for the armed robbery and attempted murder offenses does not mean that there was probable cause to arrest him for the Check ’n Go murder.
Rather, it means that the Gerstein/McLaughlin concern, that defendant was being lawfully detained, is satisfied.
Accordingly, the delay in presentment remains a factor in the voluntariness analysis, but the pre confession detention attributed to the Check ’n Go murder does not raise any improper seizure or detention concern of constitutional dimension other than the impact on the voluntariness of defendant’s statement.
After a straightforward voluntariness is conducted in this case the recordings of the interrogation illustrate that defendant’s confession was voluntary.