New police tactics may not be constitutional


Kyla Gardner

There’s something special about mothers, isn’t there? They’ll wipe your butt when you’re a baby, bring you chicken soup when you’re sick and gosh darn it if they can’t get you to confess to murder.

According to a June 14 Chicago Tribune article, a common tactic police use to draw the truth out of tight-lipped murder suspects is undercover moms.

An undercover mom is not a police officer in a wig and fanny pack pretending to be the woman who gave birth to you. She actually is your mother, posing as your mother, but working for the cops, wired and bugged.

Something about this makes sense: I know from personal experience that the maternal instinct is conducive to interrogation. In high school, my friends and I were accustomed to the weekend ritual of 20 questions of where we were going, who we were with and if we were planning on dealing drugs or doing any racketeering that evening.

But this tactic doesn’t make sense to some defense attorneys who question its constitutionality.

Attorneys of Jason Gonzalez of New Lenox Township, who confessed to his mother that he shot his uncle, are urging the court to throw out his statements because he repeatedly asked for an attorney before speaking with his mother, according to the article.

In another case, Freddie Ramirez, 20, confessed to his mother his involvement in the fatal shooting of a Chicago Heights gang member, but he claims he was deceived. The case is going through an appeals court.

Whether suspects’ rights were violated varies case-by-case depending on whether they asked for an attorney and when charges were filed, according to the article.

It appears as long as it’s constitutional, the strong arm of the law can’t tell your mother not to lie to you.

So, one has to wonder, if your relationship with your mom is so close that you feel comfortable telling her that you killed somebody (and you have her name tattooed twice on your body, as Ramirez does), what happens to that relationship when she unzips her face mask, pulls off her mic and admits she was working as a double-agent the whole time?

It’s a plot twist made for Law & Order and a case study perfect for Freud.

I’m in no way defending the murderers; these mothers are doing something that I’m sure is very difficult for them after raising their children. And they’re siding with the law and justice and morality, which society tends to view favorably.

And if you’re capable of killing another human being and are going to be serving a life sentence in prison, you’ve probably got some other problems on your hands besides trust issues with your mom, anyway.

Let’s just be thankful that most of us will never know the intricacies of such a complicated matter. These cases are extreme; it’s hardly a situation the average, non-homicidal person would find himself or herself in.

Mother’s Day has already passed in 2011, but I’d like to think I show my mom appreciation every day of the year by refraining from committing cold-blooded murder.