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First Page

467

Document Type

Symposium

Abstract

This Article proceeds on a simple and clear premise: a confession extracted by torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment should never be admitted into evidence in a U.S. criminal trial. Whether accomplished through extending the Due Process or Self-Incrimination based exclusionary rules to foreign official coercion, or by legislative action, such exclusion is necessary to align evidentiary practice regarding confessions procured by foreign agents with our nation's fundamental values as reflected in the Fifth Amendment and our ratification of the CAT. This outcome is not incompatible with Connelly. Rather, this Article explores the limits of the Court's language in that case, and the potential of that language in prohibiting the admission of evidence obtained by foreign official coercion. The Article concludes by calling on federal and state courts to exclude statements obtained under such circumstances and encourages Congress to end any uncertainty surrounding this issue by enacting appropriate legislation that prohibits the use of any evidence extracted by torture or by cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in criminal trials.