Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2002


Part I of this Article delineates a defendant's right to present voluntariness and credibility evidence against his or her confession. This section analyzes the basic constitutional framework of how a defendant can present this evidence and describes the traditional safeguards against false confessions. This background information provides a context for the overarching issue of expert testimony admissibility. Part II provides a basic understanding of differences between the psychiatric (medical model) and psychological (social model) approach to false confessions. It then examines the types of false confession defenses used by defendants and the interrogation techniques challenged by defendants. Part III reviews the general rules of expert witness admissibility under the Frye, Daubert, and Kumho Tire tests. The question of expert witness admissibility hinges somewhat on how narrowly a jurisdiction's expert witness rules are interpreted. Part IV then looks at a cross-section of state and federal cases dealing with the admissibility of false confession testimony. In this section, jurisdictions are divided into four categories based on whether they allow or suppress such evidence. Some of these decisions also involve the scope of rebuttal. Rebuttal evidence is of particular importance because few courts (and fewer articles) have analyzed the issue. Finally, Part V presents a hypothetical scenario, providing analytic context for the entire Article. As a conclusion, this section also details what is required to ensure a fair and impartial trial.

Publication Title

Seattle University Law Review



First Page



Cited by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in State v. Cook, 155 N.J. 533 (2004)

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Law Commons



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