Isaac Jaimes was on trial Wednesday, July 24, for 1st degree murder in Winnebago County. Isaac is the brother of known Latin King gang member Ricardo Jaimes. Police detectives elicited a confession from Isaac when he was questioned in relation to the May 2010 killing of sixteen-year-old DeMarkis Robinson. Mr. Robinson was shot to death with a sawed off .22 caliber rifle. On the day of the murder, Mr. Robinson and his friend William Patrick-whom are both known gang members of the Insane Unknowns-saw a Chevy Tahoe driven by Ricardo Jaimes slowly drive by Robinson’s grandmother’s home. Ricardo, the driver, signaled the two boys on the porch by throwing down the Insane Unknowns hand sign. This is a sign of severe disrespect. Robinson and Patrick left the porch and walked in the opposite direction from the Tahoe. But it circled the neighborhood and rolled past again. Patrick picked up a brick and threw it at the vehicle. That is when, according to a witness, Isaac Jaimes opened fire. The witness who claims to have seen Isaac squeeze the trigger is a known drug user and prostitute. Additionally, she viewed the homicide from the rear-view mirror of her vehicle. Isaac has categorically denied ever being in the Tahoe and his alibi places him at his home, helping his father with a project.
As an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney, I hear this situation far too often. A young man who has potentially succumbed to the deceitful and clever techniques of a team of detectives is coerced into giving a confession. The Supreme Court has held time-and-time again that police may use deceitful tactics and/or lie to a person being interrogated in order to elicit the truth. The problem with these techniques is whether the police are actually eliciting truth or what they (the police) want to hear. Many people who have been committed of crimes tell reporters and other interested parties that they confessed because they were confused by the detective’s line of questioning. For instance, in 1995 Daniel Taylor was arrested and convicted to a double-homicide in Chicago based on his confession. However, there is strong evidence that Taylor was in police custody at the time of the murders when he was picked up for disorderly conduct. Why would an innocent man sign a statement saying he had committed murder? As it turns out, Taylor’s case is a fairly typical story: a frightened young person manipulated by police into making statements whose significance he did not understand. If the past few years have taught us anything it’s that false confessions are not only possible, but they also happen more often than anyone would think.
If you are arrested by police and subsequent to your arrest, questioned in regard to a crime. Politely invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent and then invoke your 6th Amendment right to an attorney. You do not want to be questioned by police without an attorney present. The presence of an attorney during questioning not only deters detectives from using unlawful techniques, but also provides you with the support needed at that time to ensure a false confession is not given.