Jackson-Denno Hearing Law & Legal Definition


Jackson-Denno hearing refers to a court proceeding determining whether a defendant’s confession was voluntary or involuntary. The concept of Jackson-Denno hearing was evolved from the case, Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368 (U.S. 1964). The court also determines if the confession can be admissible as evidence. Generally, Jackson-Denno hearing is held outside a jury’s presence. Jackson-Denno hearing is criminal in nature. Hence, the scope of a Jackson-Denno hearing is so unique that defendants who seek relief may be treated differently from civil cases.

A Jackson-Denno hearing is constitutionally mandated for a defendant who timely urges that his/her confession is inadmissible because it is not voluntarily given. The burden of proof applicable to a Jackson-Denno hearing is same as that of a competency hearing. The burden of proof should be by preponderance of the evidence and not beyond a reasonable doubt. [People v. Arendes, 92 Misc. 2d 372 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1977)]