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04/02/82 STATE NEBRASKA v. WILLIAM R. BOYER

April 2, 1982

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
WILLIAM R. BOYER, APPELLANT



Appeal from the District Court for Dodge County: Mark J. Fuhrman, Judge.

Krivosha, C.j., Boslaugh, McCown, Clinton, White, Hastings, and Caporale, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Arrests. A warrantless arrest can be made only if there exists reasonable cause to believe a felony has been committed and the person to be arrested is guilty of the offense.

2. Confessions. To be admissible in evidence, a confession must be freely and voluntarily given. It cannot be induced by promises, or coerced by threats.

3. Confessions. A "totality of the circumstances" test is followed in which factors such as age, mental condition, education, the atmosphere in which the interrogation is conducted, and any other factor which may bear on the question is considered in determining "knowing voluntariness."

4. Confessions. A person under the influence of drugs may be unable to knowingly and voluntarily make a valid, useful confession.

5. Confessions: Appeal and Error. A finding by the trial court that a statement made by the accused is voluntary will not ordinarily be set aside on appeal unless clearly erroneous.

6. : Venue: Appeal and Error. A motion for a change of venue in a criminal case is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court and its ruling will not be disturbed on appeal unless a clear abuse of discretion is shown.

7. Juror Qualifications: Appeal and Error. In order to predicate error on the overruling of a challenge for cause, there must be a showing that the objectionable juror was forced upon the challenging party and sat on the jury because such party had exhausted his peremptory challenges.

8. Evidence: : Constitutional Law. The State's suppression of evidence favorable to and requested by an accused violates due process where the evidence is material, irrespective of the good or bad faith of the prosecution.

9. Evidence: : Constitutional Law. The proper standard of materiality is constitutionally violated if the omitted evidence creates a reasonable doubt of guilt that did not otherwise exist.

10. Evidence: : Words and Phrases. "Suppression" means nondisclosure of evidence that the prosecutor, and not the defense attorney, knew to be in existence.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Caporale

A jury found the defendant-appellant, William R. Boyer, guilty of murder in the first degree. The District Court entered judgment on the verdict and ...


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