fingerprints, photographs, clothing fibers, ballistics, etc.
Commission, in fact, compiled a 25-volume report dealing with the evidence
relating to the crime. Still, more than 20 years later, we cannot state with
any degree of certainty exactly what happened that day. The accused assassin
was himself shot to death two days after the President's murder.
confession, then, history will forever speculate as to whether or not the crime
was the act of a lone assassin (as opposed to the result of the conspiracy).
2. A confession may provide something which physical evidence cannot: a
motive. A motive is simply the accused's reason for the commission of a crime.
Common examples are jealousy, financial gain, and simply hate.
can occur without any apparent motive, it is easier for a trial counsel to
obtain a conviction if some motive can be established.
appears to have been no reason for the accused to have committed the crime; he
may, therefore, argue at trial that this shows his innocence.
3. As opposed to a confession (which is a complete acknowledgement of guilt),
an admission is simply where the accused admits some fact which is then used to
connect him with the crime. He may, for example, deny committing the murder,
but may admit that the knife that was used is his. He may deny committing the
rape, but may admit that he was with the victim on the night in question.
4. Both confessions and admissions are extremely important in terms of
establishing the guilt of the perpetrator.
Even if the accused denies
everything in his statement (makes no confession or admission), his statement
is still very important. It enables the trial counsel to discover just what
the accused will testify to at trial. Stated differently, it "ties him down"
to a story. This is extremely significant to a trial counsel who is preparing
Without any statement of the accused, the trial counsel may not
know until the actual trial just what the individual is going to say when he
takes the stand.
5. Because confessions and admissions are so important (as are any statements
of the person accused of the crime), it is important to understand the
applicable law. Unless the statement has been properly obtained, it will not
be admissible at trial. This is the result of the exclusionary rule, which we
will examine in detail later. For now, it is sufficient to merely mention that
the illegally-obtained statement will be inadmissible at trial, along with any
other evidence obtained as a result thereof (called derivative evidence).
6. The person who questions the suspect (officer, NCO, or criminal
investigator) must have the basic understanding of the applicable rules. This
subcourse will provide that. It will examine not simply "the law," but will
present actual cases (both federal and military). You will be able to learn
from the successes and mistakes of those who came before you. Understand what
they did when faced with the sort of factual situations that YOU will face in
Read what the appellate courts had to say, as our higher courts
(including the U.S. Supreme Court) examined the conduct of the investigator,