Certain facts, however, are undisputed. Relator at the time was 17 years old with a Junior High School education. The fact that relator appeared frightened is admitted by Winchester. And we also know that relator was not given any warnings as to his constitutional rights, and in fact was told that it would be to his benefit to cooperate and sign the statement.
One question that looms large concerns itself with the time span involved. Relator was picked up at 6:15 p.m. The police claim that he signed the statement at 7:20 p.m. Of course at our hearing the police, in candor, admitted that they were not testifying from an independent recollection. However, they did stand by the 7:20 p.m. time which was on the confession. We find it impossible to believe that the following could have taken place within sixty-five minutes:
1. Relator was arrested at 6:15 p.m. at 3415 Reed Street.
2. He was driven to the Moral Squad Headquarters - a distance of some 57 blocks.
3. The police vehicle was parked and he was taken inside.
4. He spoke with Sergeant Smith for ten to fifteen minutes.
5. He was turned over to Winchester who, at the very least, merely took down the statement.
6. Relator's statement was shown to Winchester's superiors.
7. Relator then signed the statement.
Sergeant Smith admitted on cross-examination that all of these events could not have occurred in between 6:15 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. In fact Smith stated that it would take at least an hour just to take down the statement.
Based on the above we reject the testimony of the police that the relator signed the statement at 7:20 p.m. and find as a fact that relator was with the police for a considerably longer period before signing.
One further question and perhaps the most important concerns itself with whether relator was physically abused. Although the testimony is in direct conflict, there are three significant factors which lead us to accept relator's testimony.
First, all the police officers testified that they had no independent recollection of the facts. Furthermore, of the three police officers to testify, two were not in a position to be certain as to whether physical force was used since they were not in the interrogating room.
Second, the testimony of the police officers, not only with respect to the time element already discussed but in general, is so shot through with contradictions that we consider it unworthy of belief.
Third, and perhaps most important, relator's story is in part corroborated by the testimony of a co-defendant at trial. The testimony there by Joseph Crosland was as follows:
"Q. Did you hear anything with regard to these other defendants?