EVIDENCE - NECESSITY FOR
CORROBORATION OF CONFESSIONS
[Should you find that a confession was made by the defendant and was made freely and voluntarily and in compliance with the rules of law set forth above, then you are instructed:] A confession alone does not justify a conviction unless it is corroborated, that is confirmed and supported by other evidence of the material and basic fact or facts necessary for the commission of the offense charged.
Unless you find that the confession, if made, is corroborated, you must disregard it.
Notes on Use
This instruction shall be given in all cases in which a defendant's extrajudicial confession has been admitted. Fontenot v. State, 881 P.2d 69, 80 n.15 (Okl. Cr. 1994). The introductory language in the first paragraph should be given only if there is a jury question as to the voluntariness of the defendant's confession so that OUJI-CR 9-12 is given.
In Fontenot v. State, 881 P.2d 69, 77-78 (Okl. Cr. 1994), the Court of Criminal Appeals abandoned the prior corpus delicti rule that required substantial independent evidence of the corpus delicti of the crime charged in order for a defendant's confession to be competent to support a conviction. Following the United States Supreme Court's decision in Opper v. United States, 384 U.S. 84 (1954), the Court of Criminal Appeals decided that a confession may be considered by the jury if it is supported by substantial independent evidence that would tend to establish its trustworthiness. It also ruled that 21 O.S. 1991, § 693 prohibits the use of a confession in a homicide case to prove that a death occurred, but that a confession may be used to prove that the defendant killed the victim. 881 P.2d at 80, n.15.