EVIDENCE - VOLUNTARY STATEMENT BY DEFENDANT
Evidence has been introduced in this case that the defendant made a statement to [Name of Witness] at [Location] on [Date]. Evidence relating to an alleged statement by a defendant outside of court and after a crime has been committed may be considered by you, but only with great caution and only if you determine that it was made and it was made voluntarily. Unless you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the statement was voluntary, you should disregard it entirely.
To determine whether the defendant's statement was voluntary, you should consider all the circumstances surrounding it, including the age, education level, physical and mental condition of the defendant, and (his/her treatment [while in custody]/[under interrogation])/(whether he/she was promised any benefit) as shown by the other evidence in this case. A statement is voluntary when made by a person exercising his or her free will. A statement made against a person's will in response to force, threat, or promise is not voluntary.
If after considering the evidence you determine that the statement was made by the defendant and was voluntary, you may give it whatever weight you feel it deserves.
Notes on Use
This instruction should be used if a defendant's statement is admitted into evidence so that the jury may determine whether it was made voluntarily. Statements, admissions, and confessions of a defendant are all treated alike for purposes of the giving of the instruction. Also, no distinction is made with respect to the giving of the instruction between statements made to a law enforcement official as opposed to any other witness. However, the circumstances surrounding the statement, including whether it was made while the defendant was in custody or whether it was made to a law enforcement official are factors which may affect the voluntariness of the statement, and these factors should be included in the instruction, if applicable. Whether procedural safeguards, such as the giving of Miranda warnings, have been satisfied is an issue of law for the trial judge, and should not be presented to the jury.
The Court of Criminal Appeals held in Williams v. State, 93 Okl. Cr. 260, 265, 226 P.2d 989, 993 (1951), that if an objection is interposed to the admission of a confession, the trial court should hold a hearing outside the presence of the jury to determine admissibility. Then at trial both the prosecution and the defense should be allowed to present evidence concerning the giving of the confession, and the jury should be instructed that it must determine the voluntariness of the confession and should disregard it if the confession was not voluntary.
In Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 376-77 (1964), the United States Supreme Court held that due process requires that a defendant who objects to the use of a confession must be given a hearing on the issue of voluntariness that is not influenced by the truth or falsity of the confession. However, the Supreme Court decided several years later in Lego v. Twomey, 404 U.S. 477 (1972), that the United States Constitution did not require proof of voluntariness beyond a reasonable doubt at the Jackson v. Denno hearing. 404 U.S. at 488-89. It also determined that the jury need not rule on voluntariness after the trial judge had decided that the confession was admissible. 404 U.S. at 489-90. Although the United States Supreme Court appeared not to favor the jury's being given an opportunity to rule on voluntariness after the trial judge had done so, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the procedure. Davis v. State, 437 P.2d 271 (Okl. Cr. 1968).
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