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A defense lawyer has managed to bust a panel with a group of questions concerning their feelings on the voluntariness of a confession. He has already lost the pretrial motion to suppress. I would like to file a motion in limine closing this area of inquiry down believing that it is a legal question within the exclusive purview of the judge.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to close this area of inquiry down or at least limit it somewhat...can the judge limit it with some sort of court voir dire on the subject.

We really don't want to bust another panel...any help...ideas I appreciate.
 
Posts: 130 | Location: Hempstead, Texas, USA | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Under 38.22 the question of voluntariness may be submitted to the jury if there is some evidence to support the submission. Foreclosing voir dire on the issue may result in reversible error.

You could short circuit the issue somewhat by bringing it up in your own voir dire.
 
Posts: 1029 | Location: Fort Worth, TX | Registered: June 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are the jurors saying that they could not follow the law (to disregard an involuntary confession)? That should be the only disqualifying issue.
 
Posts: 2389 | Registered: February 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with Ken. The law is clear he can get two bites at the voluntariness apple, one before the judge and one before the jury.
 
Posts: 2138 | Location: McKinney, Texas, USA | Registered: February 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is exactly the problem...potential jurors are saying that a confession is a confession and a "techical" suggestion that it was not properly obtained wouldn't matter that much to them...hate it when common sense kicks in. I think Ken's suggestion is the only way to go and that is to try and take the fire out of it by beating the defense to the punch at voir dire...thanks for the comments...
 
Posts: 130 | Location: Hempstead, Texas, USA | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You avoid a busted panel by explaining the law correctly before the defense presents a twisted version. We learned this in dealing with the issue of probation eligibility.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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