This Article challenges the Law Court's expansive interpretation in State v. Caouette of the scope of the privilege against self-incrimination embodied in Article I, section 6 of the Maine Constitution in the context of reviewing claims of the involuntariness of a confession. The court's declaration that a reliable confession must be suppressed on state constitutional grounds based solely on a suspect's internal factors, and in the absence of any police overreaching in obtaining the confession, contradicted two centuries of constitutional jurisprudence requiring some form of government action to implicate the protections of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Rights. In its 1986 decision in Colorado v. Connelly, the United States Supreme Court implicity rejected the Law Court's approach. In view of the Law Court's recent reaffirmation in State v. Eastman of the coextensive nature of the federal and state privileges against self-incrimination, it is questionable whether, after Connelly, the principle enunciated in Caouette is still viable.
Donald W. Macomber,
A Call for Consistency: State v. Caouette Is No Longer Viable in Light of Colorado v. Connelly and State v. Eastman,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol50/iss1/5