In 1975, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Brown v. Illinois, 422 U.S. 590 (95 SC 2254, 45 LE2d 416) (1975), statements derived from an illegal arrest or detention should be suppressed where the statements were not ‘sufficiently an act of free will.’ In Brown, the police broke into the defendant’s apartment, searched it, and then arrested him, all without a warrant or probable cause. After being taken to a police station and being advised of his Miranda rights, the defendant made incriminating statements. The Court rejected the argument that the defendant’s statements were admissible despite his obviously illegal arrest because advising a defendant in custody of his Miranda rights automatically dissipates the taint of an illegal arrest.
The court held it is a balancing test. The question whether a confession is the product of a free will be answered on the facts of each case. The court held:
No single fact is dispositive. The workings of the human mind are too complex, and the possibilities of misconduct too diverse, to permit protection of the Fourth Amendment to turn on such a talismanic test. The Miranda warnings are an important factor, to be sure, in determining whether the confession is obtained by exploitation of an illegal arrest. But they are not the only factor to be considered. The temporal proximity of the arrest and the confession, the presence of intervening circumstances, and, particularly, the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct are all relevant. The voluntariness of the statement is a threshold requirement. And the burden of showing admissibility rests, of course, on the prosecution