STATE v. JULIAN J. LOCKHART, SC 17773
Judicial District of Middletown at G.A. 9
Criminal; Whether Evidence of Post-Miranda Silence was Admitted in Violation of Defendant's Due Process Rights; Whether State and Federal Constitutions Require that Police Electronically Record Confessions and Interrogations Occurring in Places of Detention. The defendant was arrested in Georgia in connection with the 2002 beating death of a Wallingford man. While in a Georgia jail, he was questioned by Connecticut state police, and he was later charged with murder and robbery in the first degree. Prior to trial, he moved to suppress the statements he gave to the police during the Georgia interrogation on the ground that the police had failed to electronically record the interrogation. The trial court denied his motion, citing Connecticut Supreme Court precedent holding that the state constitution does not require that police record electronically confessions, interrogations and advisements of Miranda rights that occur in places of detention. At trial, the state introduced the Connecticut officers' testimony that, after being advised of his Miranda rights, the defendant (1) refused their request that he sign a card with his Miranda rights on it, (2) refused to provide them with a written statement, (3) claimed he was not a snitch and refused to say anything else when asked about the involvement of another in the crimes, and (4) had an "arrogant" demeanor during the course of the interrogation. In this appeal following his conviction, the defendant claims that the trial court wrongly denied his motion to suppress. He specifically argues that the case law holding that our constitution does not require electronic recording of confessions, interrogations and advisements of Miranda rights in places of detention should be overruled. The defendant urges this court to hold instead that such electronic recording is required by the state and federal constitutions when the interrogations are conducted in a place of detention and recording is otherwise feasible, and that the failure to record requires suppression of the statements. Alternately, the defendant urges the Supreme Court to adopt a recording requirement in the exercise of its inherent supervisory powers over the administration of justice. He also argues that the admission of the Connecticut police officers' testimony regarding his conduct and demeanor during questioning in the Georgia jail violated his due process rights because it constituted evidence of his silence following his receipt of Miranda warnings.