Involuntarily Signing a Waiver of Rights Admissible Confession
"For a confession, or an inculpatory statement, to be admissible, the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it was voluntary." McLeod v. State, 718 So. 2d 727, 729 (Ala. 1998).
United States v. Lee, 699 F.2d 466, 468 (9th Cir. 1982) (citations omitted), as quoted, with approval, in Ex parte Callahan, 471 So. 2d 463, 467 (Ala. 1985).
This rule is well settled in Alabama:
"The slightest menace or threat, or any hope engendered or encouraged that the prisoner's case will be lightened, meliorated, or more favorably dealt with if he will confess; either of these is enough to exclude the confession thereby superinduced.
Any words spoken in the hearing of the prisoner which may, in their nature, generate such fear or hope render it not only proper but necessary that confessions made within a reasonable time afterwards shall be excluded, unless it is shown by clear and full proof that the confession was voluntarily made after all trace of hope or fear had been fully withdrawn or explained away and the mind of the prisoner made as free from bias and intimidation as if no attempt had ever been made to obtain such confessions."