In our entry of January 15th, we discussed two pending Court of Appeals cases testing just how far law enforcement can go, when it comes to misrepresentation, mendacity, and prevarication.
Thomas reversed a decision by the Appellate Division, Third Department. That decision, in turn, upheld a ruling by the Rensselaer County Court which denied the defendant’s motion to suppress a videotaped confession.
In People v. Aveni, on the other hand, the Court of Appeals dismissed the prosecution’s appeal from an Appellate Division (Second Department) decision reversing a trial court ruling that denied suppression. (Aveni also touches, incidentally, on the issue discussed in our February 6th entry; Mr. Aveni had been convicted of criminally negligent homicide for injecting the decedent, allegedly, with the drugs that had killed her.)
In both cases, the defendant was essentially told that his confession could save the decedent’s life. In neither case was that true.