Washington Law Review


Giron et al. v. Cranor, 116 F.Supp. 92 (E.D.Wash. 1953), aff'd sub nom. Cranor v. Gonzales, 226 F.2d 83 (9th Cir. 1955), cert. denied, 350 U.S. 935 (1956) represents another significant step in the expanding supervision of state criminal proceedings by the federal courts. Petitioner was arrested without a warrant and held incommunicado for more than 24 hours by Seattle police. During this interval he was intensely interrogated and finally signed a statement which was offered as a confession at the murder trial of petitioner and his two alleged accomplices. Timely objection was made to the admission on the ground the statement was coerced, and, pursuant to established Washington practice, the trial court received evidence as to the circumstances under which the statement was made. The issue of voluntariness was decided by the trial court adversely to petitioner, the confession was admitted in evidence, and was submitted to the jury with instructions that the jurors were to consider the conflicting testimony regarding the circumstances of signing and were to determine whether the statement was made under the influence of fear produced by threats. In cases where the trial court has admitted a confession over objection, RCW 10.58.030 makes it a question of fact for the jury to decide whether or not the confession should be rejected as induced.

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