Should Police Interrogation Be Interrupted If Length Is Reasonable and Statements Are Voluntary ?

In People v. Ballard, 206 Ill. 2d 151, 794 N.E.2d 788, 276 Ill. Dec. 538 (2002), the supreme court was faced with the question of whether a 36-hour delay in presentment violated section 109-1(a) and whether any statements made should be suppressed. Ballard, 206 Ill. 2d at 175-76. The Ballard court stated that noncompliance with section 109-1(a) "does not, by itself, obviate a confession or render an otherwise voluntary confession inadmissible at trial." Ballard, 206 Ill. 2d at 176. Instead, the court cited its decision in House and reiterated the test for the voluntariness of a defendant's statements. Ballard, 206 Ill. 2d at 176-77. The court went on to say that "some latitude is allowed," and "presentment to a judge need be performed only with such reasonable promptness as the circumstances permit." Ballard, 206 Ill. 2d at 177. "Once a defendant in lawful custody has knowingly waived his or her Miranda rights and indicated a willingness to talk to police, section 109-1(a) does not obligate police to interrupt their interrogation as long as its length is not unreasonable and the defendant's statements continue to be voluntary. The 'delay' involved in taking a voluntary statement from a defendant under these circumstances is 'necessary' within the meaning of section 109-1(a)." Ballard, 206 Ill. 2d at 178.