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State v. Swanigan
Kansas Supreme Court
106 P.3d 39 (2005)
A convenience store was robbed in the early morning. Before the robbery, a Black man put his hand on the store’s front window and peered in. The man then entered the store with a gun and threatened to kill the cashier if she did not quickly hand over the money in the register. The store’s surveillance cameras recorded the robbery and robber. A few days after the robbery, police suspected Jami Swanigan (defendant), picked him up, brought him to the police station, and interrogated him for an hour and 15 minutes about the robbery and several other convenience-store robberies in the area. During the interrogation, police lied and stated that they had Swanigan’s fingerprints and surveillance video footage placing Swanigan at the scene. The fingerprints were not Swanigan’s. At first, Swanigan denied involvement in the robbery. Officers then urged Swanigan to cooperate. One officer told Swanigan that if he cooperated, he would be charged with only one robbery instead of five. Another officer stated that if Swanigan did not confess, officers would inform the county prosecutor, who would not accept any plea deal. Swanigan admitted involvement. When showed a photo from the surveillance video, Swanigan retracted his confession and said that the photo did not depict him. The state (plaintiff) charged Swanigan based on the interrogation. A psychological evaluation revealed that Swanigan had an IQ of 76 and was susceptible to anxiety. Swanigan moved to suppress his confession as the result of coercive and deceptive tactics. The trial court denied the motion. Swanigan was convicted and appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nuss, J.)
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