State v. Underhill

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-18-2015
  • Case #: A149441
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A defendant’s statements during a polygraph test must be made voluntarily in order to be admissible.

Defendant appealed her bench conviction for two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. On the day of trial, the court considered statements made by the defendant during a polygraph test and afterwards to a police officer. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that her statements during the test were not given voluntarily and that her subsequent comments were a result of the illegally obtained polygraph comments. The trial court denied the motion and convicted Defendant on both counts. Defendant appealed and the Court affirmed, holding that, under a totality of the circumstances, Defendant’s participation in the polygraph test was voluntary and that, even if it was not, the error in admitting the results was harmless given Defendant’s subsequent, more detailed and inculpatory, comments. Affirmed.

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