OCGA 24-3-50 Interpretation

The Supreme Court of Georgia held in State v. Ritter 268 Ga. 108 (485 SE2d 492) (1997) that, while deceit by an interrogating officer may not on its own render a statement inadmissible, the employment of deceit may render a statement inadmissible where the particular deception used, by constituting a slightest hope of benefit or remotest fear of injury under OCGA 24-3-50, "To make a confession admissible, it must have been made voluntarily, without being induced by another by the slightest hope of benefit or remotest fear of injury." has induced a party to confess, thereby rendering the confession involuntary. In Ritter, the interviewing detective had purposely misrepresented to the defendant that the victim was alive and actively recovering, thereby implicitly promising that the defendant would not be charged with murder. Ritter, supra at 110 (1). The Court determined that, although the interviewing detective may not have intended to procure an untrue statement, the deception was intended and indeed did induce the defendant to confess in the hope of receiving a lighter punishment for aggravated assault - a confession that would not have been made had the defendant known he was facing a possible death sentence. Id. at 111.