Summary Of Arizona V. Fulminante Case Brief

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Myesha Morrison - ADJU 201/06765 – Case: Arizona v. Fulminante, 499 U.S. 279 (1991) Facts: Mr. Oreste Fulminante was arrested and imprisoned for a crime in Florida. While in prison, a confidential informant working for the FBI approached Fulminante and questioned him about the death of his 11 year old step-daughter. The informant, Anthony Sarivola offered Fulminante protection from the harassment and harsh treatment he was receiving in prison if he confessed to the murder of his step-daughter. Fuulminate subsequently confessed to the murder. Upon his release for the original crime, he also confessed to Sarivola's wife. Based on the confession received, Fulminante was charged with murder. He argued at trial that the confession was coerced and should not be admissible. Despite the …show more content…

Additionally, if the confession was coerced and impacted the trial, did the Court conduct a harmless error analysis? Was Fulminante’s 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination violated and was the admission of the confession a violation of his 14th Amendment right to due process? Holding: The Supreme Court ruled that the Arizona Court had correctly applied both tests when the case was ordered retried without the confessions entered as evidence. Rationale: Reasoning: Coerced confessions made under the threat of violence are not admissible in court. The Court’s ruling to suppress the confessions was based on the FBI informant’s guarantee of protection from potential violence or harm. The Court found that “it was fear of physical violence, absent protection from his friend Sarivola, which motivated Fulminante to confess.” The confession was in essence offered under duress. Additionally, without the confessions, would Fulminante have been found guilty? The harmless error analysis yielded that without the confession the case may have had a different

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