EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Idaho State Of Mind: Supreme Court Of Idaho Finds Statements Offered Under State Of Mind Exception Were Irrelevant In Murder Appeal

Like its federal counterpartIdaho Rule of Evidence 803(3) provides an exception to the rule against hearsay for: 

A statement of the declarant's then existing state of mind, emotion, sensation, or physical condition (such as intent, plan, motive, design, mental feeling, pain, and bodily health), but not including a statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered or believed unless it relates to the execution, revocation, identification, or terms of declarant's will.   

Now, at first blush, it seems like this exception is pretty broad and would allow for the admission of many statements. Basically, as long as a person says something about how he is (presently) feeling or what he plans to do (in the future), the statement seemingly could be admitted under the exception; only statements about what transpired in the past would be excluded. As the recent opinion of the Supreme Court of Idaho in State v. Shackelford, 2010 WL 173825 (Idaho 2010) makes clear, however, there is still a relevance requirement to this exception, and, according to the court, it was not satisfied in the case before it.

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January 30, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 29, 2010

The AALS Poster Project: Elizabeth Burleson and James D. Hoefelmeyer's Solar Energy - The Future is Now!

Elizabeth Burleson and James D. Hoefelmeyer presented the poster, Solar Energy - The Future is Now! (Download Solar Energy):

BurlHofSmallSolar

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January 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The AALS Poster Project: Hillary Wandler's Culturally-Appropriate Assessment of PTSD in Native American Veterans

Hillary Wandler presented the poster Culturally-Appropriate Assessment of PTSD in Native American Veterans (Download Culturally-Appropriate Assessment):

Culturally-Appropriate Assessment

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January 28, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The AALS Poster Project: Follow the Money: The Impact of Federal, State and Local Funding Strategies for Child Welfare Services and the Impact of Local Levies on Adoptions in Ohio

Susan V. Mangold and Catherine Cerulli presented the poster, Follow the Money: The Impact of Federal, State and Local Funding Strategies for Child Welfare Services and the Impact of Local Levies on Adoptions in Ohio (Download Follow the Money):

Follow the Money

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January 27, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The AALS Poster Project: Alina Ng's Propety, Privileges and Access to Information

Alina Ng presented the poster, Propety, Privileges and Access to Information (Download Property, Privileges and Access to Information):

 Property, Privileges and Access to Information

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January 26, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 25, 2010

GVR In Brsicoe: Supreme Court Keeps Confrontation Clause Framework Intact In Briscoe v. Virginia

I have written a couple of posts on this blog (here and here) about Brsicoe v. Virginia, which I called a "potentially landmark Confrontation Clause case in the latter post. I had thought that the Supreme Court, with a new Justice since Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts was decided, might have overturned that opinion, fleshed out the definition of "testimonial," or blown up the whole Confrontation Clause framework and started again at zero. Instead, here was the Court's holding today:

PER CURIAM.

We vacate the judgment of the Supreme Court of Virginia and remand the case for further proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. ___ (2009)

It is so ordered.

This is what is known as a grant, vacate, and remand (a/k/a GVR), and it means that the status quo remains the status quo in the Confrontation Clause arena.

-CM

January 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Statements Against Interest And The Confrontation Clause, Take 2: Professor James Duane On The Advisory Committee Note To The Amendment To Rule 804(b)(3)

Back in November, I posted an entry about an e-mail sent by Regent Law School Professor James Duane to the Evidence professor listserv concerning an odd paragraph in the 2009 Advisory Committee Note to the amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b)(3). In that paragraph, the Committee indicated that it did not "need to address the relationship between Rule 804(b)(3) and the Confrontation Clause, because the requirements of this exception assure that declarations admissible under it will not be testimonial." Professor Duane's e-mail challenged this conclusion, and I agreed with the points that he made. Professor Duane has now followed up with a second e-mail, and I also agree with the points that he makes in it and have again posted his e-mail below:

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January 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ten Years Have Got Behind You: Court Of Criminal Appeals Of Tennessee Affirms Felony Conviction Impeachment Ruling BECAUSE Of Timing Calculation Error

Tennessee Rule of Evidence 609(b) provides that

Evidence of a conviction under this rule is not admissible if a period of more than ten years has elapsed between the date of release from confinement and commencement of the action or prosecution; if the witness was not confined, the ten-year period is measured from the date of conviction rather than release. Evidence of a conviction not qualifying under the preceding sentence is admissible if the proponent gives to the adverse party sufficient advance notice of intent to use such evidence to provide the adverse party with a fair opportunity to contest the use of such evidence and the court determines in the interests of justice that the probative value of the conviction, supported by specific facts and circumstances, substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect.

In its recent opinion in State v. Sweat, 2010 WL 153038 (Tenn.Crim.App. 2010), the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee found that the trial court erred in failing to balance probative value and prejudicial effect before determining that two of the defendant's convictions that it determined to be more than ten years old would be admissible in the event that he testified. Luckily for the trial court, however, the court of appeals also found that the trial court erred in finding that the convictions were more than ten years old.

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January 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The AALS Poster Project: A Story of Collaboration and Atomizing Facts