The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

Coerced Confessions


Kudos to attorney David C. Hardy for his excellent article on the case of Simon, A Slave v. The State of Florida (September/October 2019) and the impact from the precedent of this case since 1853 on the Florida criminal justice system as it related to coerced confessions. That case should remind us that Florida’s Supreme Court was able to do the right thing despite the cultural milieu that existed in 1853.

However, as cited in the article referencing recent caselaw, it is shocking that to this day some trial judges do not adhere to existing case precedent in excluding coerced confessions.

Hopefully, this article, if read by the judiciary, will eliminate the need for appeals of confessions based on hope or fear.

By his illuminating research and writing, Hardy has done a public service to the criminal defense bar in Florida and the Florida criminal courts.

Richard N. Friedman, Beverly Hills, CA