What does Hope of Benefit have to do with my confession?

The evidence code effective January 1, 2013 codified the hope of benefit doctrine that OCGA 24-8-824. A separate code section provides that statements made during plea negotiations are inadmissible, OCGA 24-4-410 State v. Chulpayev, 296 Ga 764 (2015). The consequence of obtaining a statement from the defendant in an unlawful manner depends on the reason for holding that the statement was obtained unlawfully. For example, if the statement was obtained in violation of the hope of benefit statute, OCGA 24-8-824 the repercussions for the State are different than if it is simply for a failure to read Miranda warnings. In, State v. Chulpayev, 296 Ga 764 (2015), the FBI agent told the defendant that he was questioning him in order to keep him out of jail. Arguably, the statement was also obtained involuntarily and thus in violation of the due process clause because of the improper inducement. There are several distinctions between violation of the hope of benefit principal and obtaining a statement in violation of the due process clause. The hope of benefit rule simply focus on the statement made by the law enforcement officer and whether there was the slightest hope of benefit or remotest fear of injury; the due process analysis requires the court to consider the totality of the circumstances. See United States v. Lall 607 F.3d 1277 (11th Cir. 2010). But the significance of determining which principals violated is that the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine does not apply to hope of benefit cases, but does apply in due process cases. Thus, if the defendant statement is held to be inadmissible because it was induced by hope of benefit, the statement itself is inadmissible, but other evidence obtained as a result of that statement including subsequent statements are admissible. On the other hand, if the inducement was so significant that the statement is rendered inadmissible under the due process clause, and the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine does apply and no evidence, including subsequent statements that are the product of the inadmissible statement, may be introduced. Contact an attorney at Howard and Arca to help you with your case.

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