How Did Sara Ryker Confess Voluntarily Under The Circumstances When Officers Questioned Her?

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I. Questions Presented
Under Kansas law, did Sara Ryker confess voluntarily under the circumstances when officers questioned her?
1. Does Ryker’s ability to communicate with the outside world upon request weigh in favor of a voluntary confession when she asked to use the phone and the officers told her she had to wait?
2. Do Ryker’s age, intellect, and background support a voluntary confession when she is 20 years old, possesses low intelligence, and has no criminal background?
3. Do the officers’ fairness weigh in favor of a voluntary confession when they interrogated Ryker using threats and intimidating language?
II. Brief Answers
No. Ryker did not confess voluntarily under Kansas case law. Under this case law, to determine voluntariness …show more content…

No. The ability to communicate with the outside world upon request suggests promptness in complying with a request for access to the outside world. A court will likely find that Ryker did not have this ability because the police officers conducting her interrogation were not prompt in granting her request.
2. No. If a person is quite young, possesses lower than average intelligence, and has no criminal background or knowledge of criminal proceedings, it is less likely that they confessed voluntarily. A court will likely find that because Ryker is quite young, possesses lower than standard intelligence, and has no criminal background, it is less likely that her confession was voluntary.
3. No. When officers use threats and coercion to encourage the accused to confess, it is less likely that the accused confessed voluntarily. Because the officers threatened Ryker with physical violence and used coercive tactics against her, a court will likely weigh this factor against …show more content…

In Wakefield, the accused asserted that his confession was involuntary partially because the police officers conducting his interrogation had isolated him from outside help. Id. at 943. However, on the record of the interrogation, when the accused asked if he could use the phone to get in contact with his sister and his girlfriend’s mother, the police officers immediately suggested that they take a break from the interrogation so that he could do so. Id. at 944. The court determined that based on this interaction, the officers had not isolated the accused from the outside world.

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