COLORADO v. CONNELLY

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
85-660
Petitioner 
Colorado
Respondent 
Connelly
Advocates
(on behalf of the petitioner)
(on behalf of respondent)
(on behalf of the United States as amicus curiae in support of petitioner)
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Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 1983, Francis Connelly approached a police officer and, without any prompting, confessed to murder. The police officer immediately informed Connelly that he had the right to remain silent, but Connelly indicated that he still wished to discuss the murder. It was later discovered that Connelly was suffering from chronic schizophrenia at the time of the confession. A Colorado trial court suppressed the statements on the ground that they were made involuntarily.

Question 

Did the taking of Connelly's statements as evidence violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for Colorado, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

The Court held that because the taking of Connelly's statements as evidence did not involve any element of governmental coercion, no violation of the Due Process Clause occurred. The Court argued that suppressing statements in cases where suspects were not coerced would have no deterrent effect on future violations of the Constitution by the police. The Court noted that "Miranda protects defendants against government coercion leading them to surrender rights protected by the Fifth Amendment; it goes no further than that."

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COLORADO v. CONNELLY. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 01 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_660>.
COLORADO v. CONNELLY, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_660 (last visited September 1, 2014).
"COLORADO v. CONNELLY," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 1, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_660.