Can Police Use a Cell Block Mate to Extract a Confession of a Crime ?

In People v. Bowman, 335 Ill. App. 3d 1142, 782 N.E.2d 333, 270 Ill. Dec. 139 (2002), police enlisted the defendant's cell block mate to convince the defendant, who was "intensely fearful" of being returned to a particular correctional center in which he had spent four years, "that if the defendant confessed, he would avoid a transfer to the correctional center and stay in the county jail long enough for the cell block mate to be released from jail, to return, and to assist in the defendant's escape." Bowman, 335 Ill. App. 3d at 1147, 1154. the appellate court affirmed the trial court's judgment that the defendant's confession was involuntary; it concluded that police used deceptive interrogation tactics, calculated to take advantage of the defendant's intense fear of returning to the correctional center, as a means to overcome the defendant's free will. Bowman, 335 Ill. App. 3d at 1154.