Legal Definition of Confession
The voluntary declaration to another person by someone who has committed a crime or misdemeanor in which he admits agency or participation in the same.2 min read
The voluntary declaration to another person by someone who has committed a crime or misdemeanor in which he admits agency or participation in the same.
When made without bias or improper influence, confessions are admissible in evidence as the highest and most satisfactory proof because it is fairly presumed that no man would make such a confession against himself if the facts confessed were not true. But they are excluded if unfairly obtained.
Confessions should be received with great caution, as they are liable to many objections. There is danger of error from the misapprehension of witnesses, misuse of words, failure of a party to express his own meaning, a prisoner being oppressed by his unfortunate situation and influenced by hope, fear and sometimes a worse motive, to make an untrue confession.
Requirements of a Confession
A confession must be made: Voluntarily; By the party himself; To another person.
1. It must be voluntary. A confession forced from the mind by the flattery of hope or the torture of fear, comes in so questionable a shape, when it is to be considered as evidence of guilt, that no credit ought to be given to it. This is the principle, but what amounts to a promise or a threat is not so easily defined. A confession will be considered as voluntarily made, although it was made after a promise of favor or threat of punishment, by a person not in authority over the prisoner. If, however, a person having such authority over him be present at the time and he express no dissent, evidence of such confession cannot be given.