Admissions and Confessions
An admission can be defined as a statement made by a person that points towards the guilt of the maker of the statement and more often than not suggests participation in the crime. Admissions are usually made on specific facts in issue. Despite the fact that an admission tends to point towards the guilt of the maker of the statement, admission does not construe acceptance of personal responsibility for an allegedly committed crime.
On the other hand a confession is a fully corroborated statement acknowledging all the essential elements of a crime and as such construes acceptance of personal responsibility for committing a crime. In short, a confession is an acknowledgement of guilt. A confession is usually made once a person has been charged with an offence, while admissions can be made at any time.
Admissions may or may not have significant legal consequences while confessions, on the other hand, certainly have significant legal consequences, usually a conviction without a trial and sentencing without an opportunity for mitigation. Because of this legal consequence, laws across almost all legal systems are critical as to how confessions are made, most legal systems in the world require that confessions be made to a judicial officer such as a magistrate or a judge and where extrajudicial confessions are made, the same be corroborated by other forms of evidence as was held in Smith v. United States.
The Fifth Amendment confers upon citizens, rights against self-incrimination and this right provides the basis for the other rights such as the Miranda rights and the right to representation by an attorney. For a person to be entitled to Miranda rights, the person must be in custody of the police and the rights be read before any interrogation is conducted.
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Slough, M. C. (2009). Confessions and Admissions. Fordham Law Review, 1-20.