As Suspect Tells Priest His Sins, Law Eavesdrops

By Alexandra Hardy Of The | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 11, 1996 | Go to article overview

As Suspect Tells Priest His Sins, Law Eavesdrops


Alexandra Hardy Of The, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


WHEN CONAN WAYNE HALE bared his soul to a priest, his confessor and God weren't the only ones listening.

Investigators taped the murder suspect's jailhouse conversation, known in the Roman Catholic Church as the sacrament of reconciliation.

Now the question is whether prosecutors may use the tape in court - or if they ruined their own case by making the recording.

"It's an absolute outrage," said William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. "They used this priest. They brought him in to perform the sacrament of reconciliation. And then they bugged him."

Hale, 20, is a suspect in the Dec. 21 shooting deaths of three teen-agers in a forest near Springfield, Ore., about 110 miles south of Portland. He is in jail awaiting trial on related burglary and theft charges.

The Rev. Timothy Mockaitis heard Hale's confession in the visiting area of the jail April 22, at Hale's request.

Prosecutor Doug Harcleroad has suggested that the state may try to use the tape in court - a move Hale's attorney, Terri Wood, said she would fight.

The contents of the conversation have not been made public, but Wood told The Oregonian newspaper: "I have absolutely no reason to think Mr. Hale confessed any crimes to a priest. I just don't want anyone confusing a criminal confession with the religious term of art called confession."

Legal experts doubt prosecutors will be able to use the tape in court, even if they were within their rights to make it.

State law says jail conversations except for those between an attorney and client may be taped without the consent of anyone involved. But another state law says conversations between clergy and their followers are confidential.

The question is which law takes precedence.

"We determined it was legal, and we are investigating the deaths of three children in this community," Harcleroad said. "That tends to get lost in this. I was present at the scene and saw those children. It was pretty gruesome. We want to solve this case - legally."

But David Schuman, a law professor at University of Oregon, said: "They will never be able to use the actual confession in trial unless they prove (Hale) waived confidentiality. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

As Suspect Tells Priest His Sins, Law Eavesdrops
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.