There are certain facts related to confessions as evidence of any trial.
Some of this facts are described below –
(a) What can constitute a confession or admission?
An admission is defined by previous representations made by the party to proceedings. It is opposing to the interest of any person in case of outcome of the proceedings. Hearsay rules and opinion rules do not apply to the evidences of any admission. Usually it seems always clear to the jury that which is an admission and which is not.
Suppose if the trial is about any murder then the statement made by the accused - “I have killed my mother” will be considered as an admission.
If any statement is given in front of the accused then it will only be admissible if and only if in some way he (the accused) adopts it. When a statement is made in front of the accused, then it can be considered as adopted by him through his silence in such a circumstance where a denial would possibly be the answer if he would not have done it. Is an accused selectively answers questions then his answers may not be considered as admissible. However, an equivocal statement is not any kind of admission. Denials do not operate for making a statement in the presence of the accused admissible. So both questions and answers become inadmissible.
(b) Admissibility of Admissions
An admission will be inadmissible until the court is satisfied that the admission is not being done under any kind of threat or any kind of violent, oppressive conduct. Evidence of an admission will not be admissible until the circumstances in which it was made was such that the truth of the confession was harmfully affected. The truth terms of the confession must be taken into consideration. The burden of proof is totally on the balance of probabilities. In order to finding whether an admission is admissible or not the court has to find out whether the admission was made reasonably or not.
(c) Power to Reject a Confession
Even if any confession has been voluntarily, the judge has the power to reject a confession. A trial judge can reject an admission if after considering the circumstances, it seems unfair to the defendant. The high court is evenly divided on the issue of the significance of evidence for making any kind of determination. While making any kind of determination, the value of the evidence is slightly relevant. And also it’s not correct to weigh up the probative value of the evidence. In both civil and criminal matters, the court can exclude evidence if the probative value is substantially outweighed.
(d) Verbal, ROIs, etc.
According to verbal provision, an oral admission will not be admissible until it is tape-recorded or there is a reasonable excuse for not making any kind of tape-recording. Reasonable excuse can be a refusal of the accused person to go live on a video.
(e) The Voir Dire
The responsibility of proof is totally on the balance of probabilities. The crown must call witnesses and cross examine them for accurate proof, unless the defense consents. The accused cannot be asked if the statements are true.
(f) Confessions of Children
Normally, a child’s statement or confession will not be admissible unless some certain protocols are strictly followed. The child does not have the right to require for the presence of an adult who is from any particular class. And there are some exemptions also.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.