area." In such a situation, the Miranda warnings "would be counterproductive
to creating the atmosphere of trust that is necessary to convince a suspect
like Mesa to surrender peacefully."
In fact, the giving of the warnings in
such cases "could have disastrous effects on the suspect and perhaps on others
in the vicinity."
5. In another case, the defendant and his accomplice had kidnapped someone.
While the victim was confined at gunpoint by his accomplice, the defendant went
to a ransom meeting at a shopping center. The defendant, as noted, left his
accomplice guarding the victim. At the ransom meeting, the defendant pulled a
gun and was immediately apprehended. At this point, the police knew that the
victim's life was "in grave nature." If the defendant did not return shortly,
the police were afraid that the victim would be killed by the accomplice.
Faced with these facts, the police demanded that the defendant tell them where
the victim was. He refused, at which time the police began "twisting his arm
behind his back and choking him until he revealed where (the victim) was being
held." The defendant was then taken to the police station and questioned by
some other police officers.
This questioning occurred about two hours after
the incident at the shopping center.
After being advised of his rights by
these other officers, the suspect confessed.
6. On appeal, the court held that the coercive acts of the police at the
shopping center had no causative effect on the suspect's later confession at
the police station. The court did not consider whether his initial statement
(regarding the victim's whereabouts) would have been admissible, as the
government did not attempt to get this statement admitted into evidence. The
court did, however, make the following statement regarding what the police had
"The force and threats asserted upon (the suspect) in the parking
lot were understandably motivated by the immediate necessity to find
the victim and safe his life... The violence was not inflicted in
order to secure a confession or provide other evidence to establish
the defendant's guilt... the fact that any coercion was not applied
to get a confession is highly significant." Leon v. State, 410 S.2d
201 (Fla. App, 1982).
7. On further appeal, the conviction was upheld.
The federal court agreed
that there was a break in the stream of events which served to dissipate
(eliminate) the taint of the earlier confession regarding the victim's
whereabouts: "The police, motivated by the immediate necessity of finding the
victim and saving his life, used force and threats on Leon in the parking
lot... the necessity of saving the victim's life, the different physical
setting, the different group of questioning officers, and the meticulous
explanation to appellant of his constitutional rights constituted a sufficient
break in the stream of events to dissipate the effects" of the police officers'
initial coercive actions.
Leon v. Wainwright, 734 F.2d 770 (Eleventh Cir.,
The court noted that "the violence was not inflicted to obtain a
confession or provide other evidence to establish appellant's guilt. Instead,
it was motivated by the immediate necessity to find the victim and save his
life." Even though the admissibility of this first