Weeks after a New York jury heard arguments in the murder case against Adrian Thomas, the state’s Court of Appeals overturned his conviction citing coercive tactics used by police to elicit a confession. After ten hours of interrogation, Thomas confessed to killing his four-month-old son. He was convicted of second-degree murder in 2009.
The Oneida Daily Dispatch reported that the credibility of his confession came under question after learning that police had told him his son would live if he told them how the infant’s injuries were sustained when in reality Thomas’ son had already passed away.
During last month’s arguments, Thomas’ legal team asked when is it OK for police to lie and said Thomas was threatened by the misrepresentation he was fed during his interrogation.
In the court’s decision, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman noted the “highly coercive deceptions” used during the interrogation nullified individual judgment to an ordinarily resolute person and were lethal to self-determination.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeals said that Thomas’ confession will not be allowed as evidence in his retrial.