Fabrication of Evidence
To fabricate an oral confession by a criminal accused violates both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
If evidence of any nature is fabricated then the entire prosecution is tainted.
If the fabricated evidence is an oral confession that the accused did not make the entire case should be dismissed.
To protect the integrity of the process confessions are either taken in writing and signed by the accused or recorded by either audio or videotape to preserve the integrity of the confession, it’s validity and the validity of the process.
The least reliable confession is an oral confession allegedly taken by a single interrogator.
There is no difference between the interview of a criminal accused in jeopardy of losing his right to liberty and the interview of a potential voluntary admission patient to a mental health facility. Despite this lack of difference the interview as reported by the employee of the mental health facility is treated as a voluntary oral confession which would be at best questionable if not inadmissible if the interview were conducted in connection with even a misdemeanor offense.
Combine the prohibition against the fabrication of evidence with the elements of common law fraud. The elements of common law fraud are:
- A material representation was made;
- The representation made was false;
- At the time the representation was made the speaker knew it to be false or was made recklessly without knowledge of the truth and the representation was made as a positive assertion;
- The representation was made with the intent by the speaker that the other person should act upon it;
- The party receiving the representation made did act in reliance on the representation;
- The party thereby suffered injury.
Compensable damages for injury suffered may include an award for emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other non pecuniary losses including injury to character, reputation and loss of self esteem.
It is unlawful for a police officer to fabricate evidence in the form of an oral confession. The same standard should be applied to a mental health professional allegedly interviewing a potential patient for voluntary admission to a mental health facility.