Judicial Confession Law and Legal Definition

Judicial confession is a confession made in a legal proceeding. Judicial confession is made before a committing magistrate or in a court in the due course of legal proceedings. It is also a plea of guilty made by the accused in a fit state of mind to plead, before a court which is competent to try him for the offense charged and which, upon the entry of the plea, is competent to enter judgment and fix the penalty.

Judicial confessions are “confessions made before a committing magistrate, having authority to take and certify the examination of persons accused of a criminal offense, when the preliminary inquiry is being made, whether such offense has been committed, and whether there is probable cause to believe the accused was the guilty agent in its commission. It also comprehends the plea of guilty, deliberately interposed on the arraignment for final trial, after admonition and advice from the court, against its interposition. Such confessions are, without doubt, sufficient of themselves, unaided by any corroboratory or confirmatory evidence of the corpus delicti, to sustain a conviction. They are deliberately made, and being reduced to writing, subscribed by the prisoner, certified by a magistrate, or consisting of a solemn plea, made at the bar of the court, and entered of record, are precisely identified, and free from the inherent infirmity of all mere verbal confessions, made out of court, resting in the memory of witnesses, and depending for their value upon the fidelity and accuracy of their repetition.” [Matthews v. State, 55 Ala. 187 (Ala. 1876)].