Does immunity void confessions?

If someone is given immunity from prosecution, then they confess to police as they are immune, but then the immunity is revoked, is their confession inadmissible?

What do you mean “the immunity is revoked”?

Not enough information to answer.

My understanding from Law and Order is that immunity is conditional on telling the truth and if a witness is found to be lying they can then be prosecuted. Is that what the OP is asking about?

I THINK the OP is asking if someone whom the police think is a witness to the crime is given immunity, then confesses that HE committed the crime, do the police/DA/judicial system then have to honor that immunity or, if they revoke it, is the confession inadmissible since it was obtained under guarantee of immunity?

it seems to partially depend on the typeof immunity given

In the episode of SVU I’m talking about, this guy is being charged with 2 rapes and 3 murders. The girl who he allegedly raped is given immunity at their lawyers’ request, as she could be charged with facilitating the second rape charge (of the first girl’s sister who the man killed) on a technicality. Right after the immunity is granted, a tape is found which shows the girl raping her sister and forcing the boy to do it, and planning the murders. The police get the boy’s lawyer and go to the judge, who says that she can’t reverse immunity, but the boy’s lawyer says that she can, if it violates his client’s constitutional rights. He says “The people can’t put (the girl) on the stand, because everything she says will be perjury. This mean’s my client is unable to face his accuser (on the first rape charge) which is a violation of the 6th amendment.” The judge then void’s the girl’s immunity and she is charged. ’

If instead of finding the video tape, the girl had of confessed, and they used this to get the immunity revoked, would her confession had been admissible?

Sounds like the Bernardo-Homalka case from Canada from the mid-90s.

I guess L&O finally got around to ripping it from the [del]headlines[/del] history books.

Karla Homolka

That’s a good hypothetical. Perhaps the police arrest what they think is a low level drug dealer and offer him immunity in exchange for ratting out the big boss, but it turns out that he was actually the big boss. Part of me wants to say that the judge could say, “You should have told the police that you were the big boss before they gave you immunity”, but then that is saying that one must self-incriminate themselves in order to avoid being improperly given immunity, which doesn’t make sense.

I’d argue that the drug dealer was compelled to incriminate himself by being offered immunity, which would make it inadmissible.

I was thinking more of the dealer being offered an option of taking the immunity in exchange for preferential treatment, not a situation where immunity is being forced down his throat. For example, “Hey, let’s make a deal. We’ll give you immunity if you tell us who the big boss is. If you don’t want to play, then we’ll just charge you with the stuff we caught you with and call it a day. What do you say?” Still, it would seem that taking or not taking that offer is not a truly free choice due to the threat of prosecution, so one might argue that the person would be being coerced (i.e. by duress) into accepting it.

If I was a judge deciding this I’d say very simply, “If the dealer refuses to re-confess now that immunity is revoked that shows that your offering of immunity coerced him into confessing,” and I’d rule the confession inadmissible.

I don’t know about SVU, but the regular Law and Order did their Homolka episode back in 2000 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0629269/