Wonder Woman may be strong and tough, but her most legendary power is her Lasso of Truth. Now while we aren’t about to step in and stop her from using her Lasso to save the world, we don’t like the idea of people being tried and convicted of crimes based on what they said while tied up and coerced into confessing while under the influence of the Lasso. So could forced confessions acquired by Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth hold up in court? Criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss says there’s no chance.
While forced confessions made to Wonder Woman under the powers of her Lasso are always true, that doesn’t change the fact that they aren’t constitutional. It doesn’t matter whether or not a confession is true if it is acquired illegally, which is precisely why police go to such lengths to get confessions from suspects that they can actually bring to court. American law is largely based on the protection of a person’s free will, which is why it is illegal to get forced confessions from a suspect.
In real life, the best example of forced confessions are those acquired through the use of violence, but even if a suspect could simply be forced to tell the truth through the use of a magical lasso, it would still be an involuntary confession. While it’s often difficult for a defense lawyer to prove that a confession was provided without the defendant’s free will, showing that they were under the influence of a Lasso of Truth that forces someone to tell the truth would be a pretty obvious violation of someone’s free will.
It’s worth noting that if Wonder Woman is not considered a police agent but a mere private citizen, then forced confessions from her Lasso of Truth might be admitted in court if she obtained a strong enough admission to consider the circumstances.
Wonder Woman could actually get in trouble for using her Lasso of Truth on the wrong person. While she could legally use it on someone she saw commit a crime by participating in a citizen’s arrest, if she used it on someone to see if they were guilty of a crime, she would not have the legal authority to restrain that person, making her guilty of false imprisonment. This would be particularly true if she lassoed an innocent person. If she tried that in San Diego County, she may need to contact a criminal attorney of her own as false imprisonment charges can result in up to one year in jail.
While magical lassos may be fictional, coerced confessions certainly aren’t -nor is false imprisonment. If you have been accused of a crime and believe that police violated your rights during the interrogation process to obtain a forced confession, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with defense lawyer Peter M. Liss.
Creative Commons Image via Meagan