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Court upholds suppression of mentally ill man’s confession

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Citing an inadequate Miranda warning and the mental illness a murder suspect has, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of the defendant’s motion to suppress confessions that he murdered two women. 

Indianapolis Police detective Michael Mitchell went to the New Castle Correctional Facility to interview DeAngelo Banks regarding a lead on DNA evidence. Mitchell was unaware that Banks has schizo affective disorder, that he was medicated at the time, and that, per a psychologist’s testimony, Banks had been “out of it” during that period he was interviewed.

Mitchell gave Banks a Miranda warning that did not clearly explain when Banks could request an attorney, and Banks agreed to talk. He confessed to killing two women in Indianapolis. He said he was under the influence of drugs and he’s been psychologically tormented.

Based on his testimony, the state charged Banks with murder in two separate cases. He filed a motion to suppress, which the trial court granted.

“Here, the trial court considered the evidence presented of Banks’s mental illness, heard Banks’s own testimony and came to the conclusion that his statement was not voluntary, and under our standard of review, we are bound to give this determination deference,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote in State of Indiana v. DeAngelo Banks, 49A02-1303-CR-235.

“We are therefore confronted with an inadequate Miranda warning to an undeniably and seriously mentally ill suspect who was in the area of the Newcastle Correctional Facility where the mentally ill are housed apart from the general prison population, who was involuntarily medicated at the time and in restraints even during the interrogation at issue. Yet, despite these compelling and compromising facts and circumstances, the State chose to interview Banks, and secured the confession we now review.

“There is substantial evidence supporting the trial court’s decision, and its decision is not contrary to law. Given our deferential standard of review, we affirm the trial court’s determination that Banks’s confession should be suppressed,” she wrote.
 

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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