False Exculpatory Statements Confirm Consciousness of Guilt (x±)
Enter more text here
What is a false exculpatory statement?
A person confronted by the police might make a statement that, on its face, exculpates him, but that is, in fact, largely untrue. A false exculpatory statement (also called an “inculpatory” statement) is admissible at trial as evidence of the defendant’s consciousness of guilt. The court may instruct the jury that it may infer the defendant is guilty based on this false statement.
What is the impact of a false exculpatory statement on a jury?
In many ways, false exculpatory statements are stronger indicators of guilt than a confession. Skillful cross-examination of the detective who obtained a confession may undermine the detective’s credibility to such an extent that the jury may believe the confession was coerced or fabricated. However, jurors are likely to believe an officer’s testimony about a defendant’s untrue exculpatory statement. After all, if the officer was so intent on establishing the defendant’s guilt that he made up a false exculpatory statement, why would he stop there? Why not make up a full-blown confession?
Joseph S R de Saram (JSRDS)