X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
OPINION

A jury found Boris Dawson guilty of the murder of Francois Dean and set his punishment at life imprisonment. At the punishment phase of the trial, the State sought to introduce a statement Dawson allegedly made to the police that concerned not the murder for which Dawson was then being tried, but another offense to which Dawson had been linked. Dawson filed a motion to suppress the statement on the basis that it was made involuntarily. The trial court held a hearing, ruled the statement admissible, and made findings of fact and conclusions of law. Dawson contends on appeal that the statement was inadmissible.

The determination of whether a statement is voluntary is a mixed question of law and fact, i.e., an application of law to a fact question. Garcia v. State, 15 S.W.3d 533, 535 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000); see Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 38.22, � 6 (Vernon 1979). As a general rule, we afford almost total deference to a trial court’s determination of the historical facts concerning the making of the statement so long as the record supports them, especially when the trial court’s fact findings are based on an evaluation of credibility and demeanor. Guzman v. State, 955 S.W.2d 85, 89 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997). We should afford the same deference to a trial court’s rulings on mixed questions of law and fact if the resolution of those ultimate questions turns on an evaluation of credibility and demeanor. We may review de novo mixed questions of law and fact that do not fall within this category. See id. Because ordinarily the determination of whether a statement is voluntary turns almost entirely on the evaluation of credibility and demeanor, we will afford almost total deference to the trial court’s resolution of this type of mixed question of law and fact. See Wyatt v. State, 23 S.W.3d 18, 23 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000); Garcia v. State, 15 S.W.3d at 535; Romero v. State, 800 S.W.2d 539, 543 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990).

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now
Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now
Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now
July 22, 2024 - July 24, 2024
Lake Tahoe, CA

GlobeSt. Women of Influence Conference celebrates the women who drive the commercial real estate industry forward.


Learn More
September 05, 2024
New York, NY

The New York Law Journal honors attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in New York.


Learn More
September 06, 2024
Johannesburg

The African Legal Awards recognise exceptional achievement within Africa s legal community during a period of rapid change.


Learn More

Columbia Law School seeks an experienced lawyer with a background in criminal defense and a strong interest in community lawyering and clini...


Apply Now ›

WittKieffer is proud to partner with Mom's Meals in the search for their Director of Legal Affairs. Mom's Meals is an investor-owned compan...


Apply Now ›

Nutley Law firm concentrating in plaintiff's personal injury for plaintiff seeks an Attorney with three or more years of experience in New J...


Apply Now ›
06/27/2024
The American Lawyer

Professional Announcement


View Announcement ›
06/21/2024
Daily Business Review

Full Page Announcement


View Announcement ›
06/14/2024
New Jersey Law Journal

Professional Announcement


View Announcement ›