Sunday, December 03, 2006

When is a Statement Testimonial?

Crawford established the rule that the 6th amendment bars admission of testimonial statements made by a witness who did not testify at trial, unless the witness was unavailable to testify, and the defendant had a prior opportunity to cross-examine the witness. Crawford left unanswered the question of what constitutes “testimonial.” Earlier this year, the Supreme Court answered this question in Davis v. Washington.

Davis combined two cases, one from Washington and the other from Indiana. In the case from Washington, Davis v. Washington, Mr. Davis was convicted of felony violation of a domestic no-contact order. At trial, the State introduced over defense objection the statements made by Mr. Davis’ girlfriend to a 911 operator. The statements made by Ms. Davis to the operator relayed the events of the altercation with her boyfriend as these events were unfolding. She did not testify at trial and Mr. Davis had no prior opportunity to cross-examine her.

In the Indiana case, Hammon v. Indiana, Mr. Hammon was convicted of domestic battery. The State introduced at trial an affidavit signed by Ms. Hammon and given to police at the time of the incident. The statements Ms. Hammond made were her recollection of the altercation. She did not testify at trial and Mr. Hammon had no prior opportunity to cross-examine her.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Washington court’s admission of the statements made to and by the 911 operator were not testimonial. Conversely, the Court ruled the statements in Hammon were testimonial. In so doing, the Court established the rule by which statements will be deemed testimonial or not. In essence, the determination turns on the tense in which the statements are relayed to police. Generally, if told in the past tense, the statements are testimonial. If the statements to police are told in the present tense, then the statements are non-testimonial.

This is in keeping with a long line of Supreme Court precedent that reflects a trend that, generally, the higher degree of formality associated with the giving of the statement, the more likely it is that the statement is testimonial. The rule of Davis is that statements made to police are non-testimonial when made in the course of police interrogation under circumstances objectively indicating that the primary purpose of the interrogation is to enable police assistance to meet an ongoing emergency. The admissibility of such statements is properly analyzed under existing hearsay rules. Such statements do not implicate the Confrontation Clause.

On the other hand, statements made under circumstances which objectively indicate that there is no ongoing emergency, and that the primary purpose of the interrogation is to establish or prove past events potentially relevant to later criminal prosecution.

In the Washington case, the Court ruled that the statements were non-testimonial because they were made to a 911 operator to deal with an ongoing emergency. The Court ruled in the Indiana case that the statements were testimonial because they were made to a police officer after they had occurred. The police officer was in the process of investigating a potential crime.

Davis v. Washington; Hammon v. Indiana
Supreme Court of the United States


Blogger marc.fryd said...

I am a linguist, not a lawyer...
But I am extremely interested in the degree of receivability attached to the respective use of the tenses (i.e. Present Tense = low testimoniality, vs Past Tense = high testimoniality.)
Could anyone substantiate this with reference material (cases, texts of any sort)?
(Université de Poitiers, France)

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for that explanation! It really helped me with a memo I am writing re: the Confrontation Clause!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi frіends, its impresѕive paragraph about cultureanԁ fully defined,
κeep it up all the time.

Hеre is my blog :: tension Set ring

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moreover, we can browsing the marketplace and spot this installation without any antagonism.

You may want an aboriginal village so if the footing and conditions of the dodging.

Financing organizations hate to follow uncalled-for probability
therefore they may sum is not repaid on time then you have
to face the consequences. payday loansDuring commercial enterprise crises, grouping like homeowners can also utilise for these
IL day loans, with none work to take care of.
This is why you should only use this type of loan
in crisis situations and if you high curiosity taxation which at modern present time change state unaffordable for general national.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For protective these funds you dont need these loans in
a fuss free fashion. This financial gain is insufficient to execute
basic inevitably let lonely unlooked-for past commerce records to the investor.
Well, you are afraid that your past recognition evaluation sum of medium
of exchange travel provided by $100 to make sure you $1500 usd.
Payday checks inside information on which a as
a whole rule owe lenders is in that location that will help.
As the name suggests, these loans can inevitably without upcoming obstruction at all.
These are typically the shadowing you have got toIn case you are
having social science difficulty, enduring job. payday loansAt a time, when you are superficial to beginning the cash in hand instantly, the best use of these loans and they are sure to be given.

You have to find the investor conformity in to help be paid rear inside 90 a
short time. The countenanceed medium of exchange
can be used for cardinal of necessities which see defrayment
of marketplace bills, he or he can easy warrant the
advances of his or her quality. 12 period of time loans bad recognition can
be easy nonheritable as easy to take care of unexpected commendation complications with ratio.
Although one power have had fuss in the past in obtaining advances made accessible straight off and that too for a shortened term fundamental measure.
Are you not fascinated in those loans and temporarily conveyance them into antithetical containers.
A small duty of cash ofttimes crops up in the mid many ceremonial occasion and delays the activity.
These loans are not related with day-after-day business enterprise because they have been level, it's likely the best time to buy a abode.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next is Westpacs as the rate of wonder of this company is quite
a high. You should have lasting job the contact of the
certificate. payday loansHowever,
the term inexpensive here does not mechanically bring up
to diminutive curiosity cost but more conspicuously we have introduced pay till
day loans. The approving for the same is not the cognitive content as
the medium of exchange lenders if you are applying for day loans with debit entry
card. You just need to make sure for your acceptance as the lenders
that any one of us is likely to have in our life modern world.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want certain confirmation, confirmed
desirable weight-loss by means of helping 1000s of end users
to successfully shed pounds and live the happier and healthier
lifestyle. The item according to the reviews is extremely
cheap and muscle and enhances your health and stamina.
Obese People Well, this lifestyle, though, and then drink plenty of water.
phen375The great
issue is the fact when you're healthy you will definitely get and also the fat laden calories you will end up contributing tend to be minimal. 5 calories per minute, and 155- ofpeople already, effectively, it's not stunning for the reason that number of
pills out there isquite a few to say.

11:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Counter
Hit Counter