Jump directly to the content

Clergy-Penitent Privilege Waived

Murder suspect lost privilege when he confessed murder to a law enforcement officer

Key point 3-08.05. In most states a counselee can waive the clergy-penitent privilege by disclosing the privileged communication to someone other than the minister. In some states the minister also may waive the privilege.

* The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply to a confession made by a murder suspect to a prison chaplain, since the suspect had waived the privilege when he confessed to a law enforcement officer. A criminal defendant who was in prison awaiting trial for murder told a prison chaplain that he wanted to confess to the crime. The chaplain testified at the defendant's trial that he told the defendant that "if you want to do a confession, you don't do it to the chaplains. You do it to the proper authorities." The defendant asked to speak to a law enforcement officer, and one was immediately sent to the defendant's cell to take his confession. ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
  • September 1, 2011

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Using Social Media Safely
Using Social Media Safely
Policies to keep your church staff and members safe when using social media.
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.