Involuntary Confession Law and Legal Definition

An involuntary confession is a confession obtained where the installation of fear or a promise of benefit, related to the legal consequences as regards the accused, conveyed by another for the purpose of obtaining the confession, has so acted on the will of the confessor as to fetter the freedom of choice on the matter of whether he or she should confess. Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment bars the admission of involuntary confessions. While determining whether a confession was voluntary, courts make sure that the confession was “the product of an essentially free and unconstrained choice by its maker, that it was the product of a rational intellect and a free will and that the appellant's will was not overborne.” [United States v. Swint, 15 F.3d 286, 289 (3d Cir. Pa. 1994)]