Confession evidence has exceptional impact on confirming a suspect’s involvement in a crime. In some cases, the defendant’s confession may be the most important evidence against him. The decision to waive Miranda rights to remain silent during police questioning is sometimes presented for expert forensic psychiatry scrutiny. Such a forensic examination focuses on whether the decision to waive Miranda rights was knowing, intelligent and voluntary.
The Forensic Panel has been consulted on a number of important cases of disputed confessions after a Miranda waiver was given around North America, at the request of prosecution and defense. We are familiar with identifying sources of information that explain a defendant’s decision to confess and waive their Miranda rights, and expert at recognizing the clues therein. Forensic investigative diligence, which involves confirming history through collateral input, yields a clearer portrayal of the confessor’s mental state and decision-making process inspiring the decision to waive Miranda rights.
Forensic Testing to determine competency to Waive Miranda Rights
Forensic testing instruments that measure a suspect’s competency to confess after a Miranda waiver have their potentials and limitations, and so are not universally employed in such examinations. If warranted, however, The Forensic Panel may supplement a review of history and expert psychiatry investigation with testing that assists the understanding of the defendant’s distinctive situation.
Peer-review of the forensic consultation ensures a diligent accounting for all available sources of information and conclusions that reflect what forensic psychiatry can ascertain about an adult or adolescent’s competency to waive Miranda rights.