By Honorable Michael E. Keasler, Texas Court of Criminal AppealsCrystal N. Abbey

Over the last two years, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decided a number of cases regarding confessions, and searches and seizures. The Supreme Court established several new nuances in these areas while the court of criminal appeals clarified the existing law’s applicability under unique facts. This article covers the most significant confession, and search and seizure cases decided during this two-year period. Each section identifies recent decisions in the subcategories of both confession, and search and seizure, and analyzes the jurisprudential significance of these decisions.

There has been no new development from the Supreme Court interpreting confession law in the past two years. The court of criminal appeals, however, handed down two cases during this time addressing questions regarding custodial interrogations and confessions elicited by government agents. The most dramatic changes for both the Supreme Court and the court of criminal appeals involve search and seizure law. The Supreme Court provided new interpretations for reasonable suspicion and expanded who may challenge a search or seizure. On the other hand, the court of criminal appeals provided guidance and clarification on how this new precedent applies in unique factual circumstances.

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Recommended Citation
Crystal N. Abbey, et al., Criminal Procedure: Confessions, Searches, and Seizures, 2 SMU Ann. Tex. Surv. 131 (2016)