Enacts the "coerced confession remediation act"; relates to exclusion of statements made or provided by a claimant in the course of a custodial interrogation.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the court of claims act, in relation to enactment of the coerced confession remediation act
PURPOSE: To ensure that innocent persons who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime will not be barred from due compensation because they made a coerced confession during the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 titles the bill the "coerced confession remediation act."
Section 2 amends subdivisions 4 and 5 of section 8-b of the court of claims act to allow that when a wrongfully imprisoned person submits a claim for damages to the state such claim will not be barred because of any allegedly inculpatory statement made or provided by the claimant to the authorities who investigated or prosecuted the claimant, unless such statement was intentionally made or provided in order to impede the investigation or prosecution.
Section 3 provides for the act to take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: The state's Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act bars wrongfully convicted individuals from suing the state for damages when an individual did "by his own conduct" cause or bring about his conviction. This has been understood to bar recovery where the individual confessed to the crime. The recent New York Court of Appeals decision Warney v. New York allowed an unjustly convicted man to sue the state for damages where he alleged that his confession was coerced, provided that his proof of coercion withstood scrutiny at later stages in the proceedings.
In fact, the likelihood of an innocent person confessing to a crime without coercion is just about nil. The phenomena of manipulated confessions are startlingly widespread and examples of false confessions are unfortunately common. For example, a 2008 study of the country's 200 first post-conviction DNA exonerations (from 1989 to 2007) showed that 169 confessed to serious crimes like murder and rape that we now know using DNA evidence they did not commit.
Nor are coerced confessions necessarily the product of actual or threatened physical abuse. A 1997 study found that as interrogation methods become more sophisticated and rely less on physical fore, and more on psychological tactics, subjects are often manipulated into believing confessing is in their best interest. Innocent people do not confess to crimes they did not commit unless they are coerced and a false confession should never be a bar to a wrongly imprisoned person's right to compensation.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.4634 of 2011-2012 - Referred to Judiciary
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 714 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the court of claims act, in relation to enactment of the coerced confession remediation act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "coerced confession remediation act". S 2. Subdivisions 4 and 5 of section 8-b of the court of claims act, as added by chapter 1009 of the laws of 1984, are amended to read as follows: 4. The claim shall state facts in sufficient detail to permit the court to find that claimant is likely to succeed at trial in proving that (a) he OR SHE did not commit any of the acts charged in the accusa- tory instrument or his OR HER acts or omissions charged in the accusato- ry instrument did not constitute a felony or misdemeanor against the state, and (b) he OR SHE did not by his OR HER own conduct cause or bring about his OR HER conviction, EXCLUDING ANY ALLEGEDLY INCULPATORY STATEMENT MADE OR PROVIDED BY THE CLAIMANT TO THE AUTHORITIES WHO INVES- TIGATED OR PROSECUTED CLAIMANT UNLESS INTENTIONALLY MADE OR PROVIDED IN ORDER TO IMPEDE THE INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION. The claim shall be verified by the claimant. If the court finds after reading the claim that claimant is not likely to succeed at trial, it shall dismiss the claim, either on its own motion or on the motion of the state. 5. In order to obtain a judgment in his OR HER favor, claimant must prove by clear and convincing evidence that: (a) he OR SHE has been convicted of one or more felonies or misdemea- nors against the state and subsequently sentenced to a term of imprison- ment, and has served all or any part of the sentence; andEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04678-01-3 S. 714 2
(b) (i) he OR SHE has been pardoned upon the ground of innocence of the crime or crimes for which he OR SHE was sentenced and which are the grounds for the complaint; or (ii) his OR HER judgment of conviction was reversed or vacated, and the accusatory instrument dismissed or, if a new trial was ordered, either he OR SHE was found not guilty at the new trial or he OR SHE was not retried and the accusatory instrument dismissed; provided that the
[judgement]JUDGMENT of conviction was reversed or vacated, and the accusatory instrument was dismissed, on any of the following grounds: (A) paragraph (a), (b), (c), (e) or (g) of subdivision one of section 440.10 of the criminal procedure law; or (B) subdivision one (where based upon grounds set forth in item (A) hereof), two, three (where the count dismissed was the sole basis for the impri- sonment complained of) or five of section 470.20 of the criminal proce- dure law; or (C) comparable provisions of the former code of criminal procedure or subsequent law; or (D) the statute, or application thereof, on which the accusatory instrument was based violated the constitution of the United States or the state of New York; and (c) he OR SHE did not commit any of the acts charged in the accusatory instrument or his OR HER acts or omissions charged in the accusatory instrument did not constitute a felony or misdemeanor against the state; and (d) he OR SHE did not by his OR HER own conduct cause or bring about his OR HER conviction, EXCLUDING ANY ALLEGEDLY INCULPATORY STATEMENT MADE OR PROVIDED BY THE CLAIMANT TO THE AUTHORITIES WHO INVESTIGATED OR PROSECUTED THE CLAIMANT UNLESS INTENTIONALLY MADE OR PROVIDED IN ORDER TO IMPEDE THE INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.