Cases summarized below are on the Supreme Court May 15–19, 2023, docket. Cases will be heard in the Supreme Court courtroom on the third floor of the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka.
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Appeal No. 124,329: State of Kansas v. Phillip Jason Garrett
Saline County: (Petition for Review) The State appealed the district court’s suppression of Garrett’s confession to sexually violating his stepdaughter. During Garrett’s law enforcement interview, detectives stretched the truth, and told Garrett their Computer Voice Stress Analyzer was 100% accurate. Garrett voluntarily agreed to submit to the test and the results purportedly suggested he lied about his innocence, so the detectives suggested he acknowledge his guilt.
Over the course of the interview, Garrett confessed, and the State charged him with 11 counts of rape, eight counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, one count of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child, and two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy. Before trial, Garrett moved to suppress his confession. Following a hearing, the district court concluded his confession was voluntary. Eighteen months later, the same judge shifted course and, sua sponte, suppressed the confession, primarily because he now held the opposite opinion as to whether the officers’ statements concerning the accuracy of the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer test adversely affected the voluntariness of Garrett’s confession. The State appealed, arguing a review of the totality of the circumstances demonstrates Garrett’s confession was voluntary and the district court erred in ordering it suppressed. The Court of Appeals agreed with the State and reversed, finding the confession was voluntary.
Issues on review are whether: 1) Garrett’s confession was involuntary; and 2) the deceptive tactics of the officer led to a coerced confession.