Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
ARGUED: October 18, 2000

This Court granted discretionary pretrial review of a suppression ruling to determine and elucidate the proper standard for evaluating a claim that a confession made after an explicit Miranda *fn1 waiver was rendered involuntary because it followed upon a promise by police to recommend ROR bail *fn2 in the event the suspect was arrested and arraigned. The suppression court excluded the confession in this case, focusing exclusively upon the fact of the post-waiver promise, which it deemed an “improper inducement” that “require[d] suppression of the statement.” In so holding, the court relied upon Commonwealth v. Gibbs, 520 Pa. 151, 553 A.2d 409 (1989), a case involving an inducement to waive Miranda rights — specifically, the right to counsel, which the suspect in Gibbs had equivocally invoked. Upon the Commonwealth’s certified appeal,*fn3 a divided Superior Court panel reversed, holding that the suppression court erred in focusing only upon the alleged inducement, while failing to consider the totality of the circumstances, in assessing the voluntariness of appellant’s confession. Relying upon the totality of the circumstances analysis set forth in Commonwealth v. Nester, 551 Pa. 157, 709 A.2d 879 (1998), the Superior Court panel majority found that appellant’s confession was voluntary. Judge Brosky dissented, noting his agreement with the trial court that the case was “extremely similar to, and controlled by,” Gibbs.

For the reasons set forth below, we hold that the totality of the circumstances, including any alleged inducement, must be considered in evaluating the voluntariness of a confession. In addition, we affirm the finding of the Superior Court that the totality of the circumstances here demonstrated that appellant’s confession was voluntary.

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

Premium Subscription

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

Team Accounts

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

Bundle Subscriptions

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

General Counsel Conference East 2021

September 22, 2021 - September 23, 2021
New York, NY

GCC East addresses General Counsel trends in regulatory, data protection, tech management, legal operations, and leadership.


New Jersey Legal Awards 2021

September 23, 2021
Virtual, NJ

New Jersey Law Journal honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in New Jersey with their dedication to the profession.


Women Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021

October 07, 2021
Washington, DC

Women Influence & Power in Law Awards honors women lawyers who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession.



Miami, Florida, United States

Our client, a globally traded public company focused on the investment and monetization of products in the bio-pharmaceutical industry is se...

Apply Now ›

Associate Attorney

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States

Blue Bell-based property-subrogation firm, de Luca Levine LLC, seeks a PA-barred attorney with litigation experience either as a lawyer or a...

Apply Now ›


Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States

Mid-sized litigation law firm in Blue Bell, PA, seeks tech-savvy paralegal to assist its growing cyber-insurance subrogation practice. Idea...

Apply Now ›



Barton Gilman Expands Into Connecticut

View Announcement ›



Barton Gilman LLP is excited to announce that its expansion into Philadelphia

View Announcement ›



STARR, GERN, DAVISON & RUBIN would like to congratulate Ira M. Starr as Partner and Ana Rita Ferreira as an Associate

View Announcement ›