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State v. Hendricks Case Law
Terms in this set (37)
Zomerfeld v. Noto
Pursuant to Midlands Rules of Evidence 104(a), when evaluating the admissibility of evidence, a trial court is permitted to rely on both admissible and inadmissible evidence. The use of underlying inadmissible evidence does not make that inadmissible evidence admissible. Instead, the court is merely permitted to consider the underlying inadmissible evidence in order to assess the admissibility of the offered evidence. In a jury trial, the
jury may not always be privy to the underlying facts used to determine what evidence is admissible, but the Court may hear it. Previous upheld examples of this in Midlands
include using character evidence to make a ruling on hearsay exceptions, using hearsay to make a ruling on character evidence, and using hearsay to decide whether an expert has adequate foundation to testify.
State v. Monarch
In a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the State and never shifts to the defendant. The burden of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt with respect to each and every element of the offense(s) alleged.
State v. Sarobe
Per State v. Monarch, the State's burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt applies to each and every element of the crime charged. This burden, however, does not operate on the many subordinate, evidentiary, or incidental facts as distinguished from proof of the elements of the crime or of an ultimate fact. Where, however, the State relies in whole or in part on circumstantial evidence to prove an element of a crime, although each link in the chain of evidence to support it need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the cumulative impact of that evidence must, in order to support that inference, convince the finder of fact beyond a reasonable doubt that the element has been proven.
State v. Vargas and Field
A criminal defendant is never required to present evidence or even offer an alternative theory of the crime. If a defendant does so, however, a prosecutor may comment upon the failure of the defense to offer evidence in support of its theory of the case. Moreover, such comments do not imply that the burden of proof has shifted to the defense, nor do they necessarily constitute an infringement on the defendant's exercise of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
State v. Matthys
Revisiting State v. Vargas and Field, the court reiterated that during a closing argument, a prosecutor may not suggest that the defendant needed to provide evidence in order to be found not guilty.
State v. Soderberg
Revisiting State v. Vargas and Field, the court reminded counsel that during cross examination, prosecutors may call into question the existence of documents that the defendant purports to exist but has not produced for trial. In addition, it is not improper "burden-shifting" for the prosecutor to point out through cross-examination that the defendant has not produced documents or evidence to support a theory or argument that has been advanced by the defense. However, the prosecutor may not suggest during cross examination that the defendant had an affirmative duty to produce any documents in
order to be found not guilty.
State v. Nelson
Even if the State elects not to discuss at trial a particular charge or element included in its indictment or bill of particulars, the defendant still may present evidence to rebut that charge or element The State may not argue irrelevance of the defendant's evidence based on the State's electing not to present evidence supporting that charge at trial.
Kleynman v. Corrado
Unlike other jurisdictions, the victim in a criminal case in Midlands can be sequestered under Midlands Rule of Evidence 615.
Richey v. Bartlett
In all trials, fact finders may rely on both direct and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is testimony by a witness about what that witness personally did, saw, or heard. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence from which the fact finder may infer that another fact is true. Neither type of evidence should be given categorically more weight than the other.
Roytman v. Zadie & Zoe's Pet Supplies
Midlands' Circuit Courts are not bound by the rulings of their sister Circuit Courts in other counties; however, the decisions of sister Circuit Courts in other counties have persuasive value.
State v. Class
The defendant was charged with murder and the prosecution offered evidence that an alleged co-conspirator, who is being tried separately, previously attempted to kill the victim without the defendant's involvement. The defendant objected under Rule 403. The Court excludes this evidence because the probative value of the motive of an alleged coconspirator is substantially outweighed by the danger for unfair prejudice caused by the potential for the jury to associate the co-conspirator's independent actions with the defendant.
State v. Sommers
The defendant was charged with armed robbery of a bank and the prosecution attempted to offer evidence that a co-conspirator, who is being tried separately, plotted to rob the same bank with individuals who were not involved in the alleged robbery in question. Defendant objected under MRE Rule 403. The court overrules the objection because the probative value of evidence that the co-conspirator had a plan to rob the bank is not substantially outweighed by any unfair prejudice to the defendant.
State v. Lowe
A criminal defendant's decision to exercise the constitutionally protected right not to testify in his or her own defense may not be commented upon by the State either explicitly or implicitly. However, if the defendant does choose to testify, his or her credibility is to be judged like that of any other witness.
State v. Poole
Generally, it is improper for the prosecutor to comment at trial upon a defendant's invocation of his or her privilege against self-incrimination. This rule extends to a prosecutor's comment on a defendant's refusal to answer police questions or decision to invoke his or her right to counsel during an investigation.
Davis v. Adams
Under the Midlands Rules of Evidence, trial judges must ensure that any and all scientific testimony or evidence admitted is not only relevant but reliable. In determining whether expert testimony is sufficiently reliable to be admitted, judges should consider only the methods employed and the data relied upon, not the conclusions themselves.
Tarot Readers Association of Midlands v. Merrell Dow
In assessing reliability under Davis v. Adams, judges should consider, among other factors, whether the theory or technique has been or can be tested, whether it has been
subjected to peer review and publication, whether it has a known error rate, and whether it has gained widespread acceptance within the field. These factors, while relevant, are not necessarily dispositive. For example, lack of publication does not automatically foreclose admission; sometimes well-grounded but innovative theories will not have been published. Indeed, there is no definitive checklist in making a preliminary assessment of whether reasoning or methodology underlying expert testimony is scientifically reliable. Judges must make such assessments based on the totality of the circumstances, and the
proponent of such expert testimony must meet the threshold proof requirement by a preponderance of the evidence.
Richards v. Mississippi BBQ
Midlands Rule of Evidence 703 does not afford an expert unlimited license to testify or present a chart in a manner that simply summarizes the testimony of others without first relating that testimony to some "specialized knowledge" on the expert's part as required under Midlands Rule of Evidence 702. The court must distinguish experts relying on hearsay to form scientific conclusions from conduits who merely repeat what they are told. The testimony of the former is admissible; that of the latter is not.
America's Best Cookie v. International House of Waffles
Although practices may be different in other jurisdictions, in Midlands it is entirely possible for an out-of-court statement by a person who is or will be testifying in a particular trial to be excluded by the general rule against hearsay. Subject to Rule 801(d), hearsay is any out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. And although the Midlands Rules of Evidence contain a variety of exceptions to the rule that hearsay is generally inadmissible, there is no categorical
principle permitting receipt of any out-of-court statement simply because the person who made that out-of-court statement is or will be a witness in the trial.
State v. Capaldi
In a criminal case, a police officer is not considered a "party opponent" for the purpose of admissibility of a statement made by that officer under Midlands Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2). This does not preclude the admissibility of the officer's statement under other applicable provisions of the Midlands Rules of Evidence.
State v. Compton
The business-records hearsay exception of Midlands Rule of Evidence 803(6) cannot be used as a "back door" to introduce evidence that would not be admissible in a criminal case under the public-records hearsay exception of MRE 803(8)(b). Thus police reports, which are specifically excluded from MRE 803(8) in a criminal case, are not admissible as business records under MRE 803(6) to prove the truth of matters contained therein.
Illiadis v. State
Midlands Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2) may be invoked in only one direction in a criminal case. Specifically, Rule 801(d)(2) permits the State to offer statements by a criminal defendant. The rule does not permit a defendant to offer statements from him- or herself. This rule remains the same even if the State has already elicited out-of-court statements by a defendant during a preceding examination subject to Rule 106.
State v. Chambliss
Criminal conspiracy to commit a given crime occurs when a person agrees with another or others to commit an offense, attempt to commit an offense, solicit the commission of an offense, or aid another in the planning or commission of an offense.
State v. Owens
For a statement to qualify under the hearsay exclusion of Midlands Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E), the proponent must establish the existence of said conspiracy by a
preponderance of the evidence. In addition, the statements may be admitted conditionally subject to Rule 104, meaning that the proponent of such statements may lay proper foundation before offering the statements or the trial court may allow the proponent to admit the statements first and lay the foundation for the predicate conspiracy during the remainder of the trial. As Rule 801(d)(2)(E) makes clear, proof of conspiracy may be based
in part on the statements themselves, but the proof must also include some independent
State v. Alston-Harmon and Maples
An individual need not be charged with conspiracy for their statements to qualify under the hearsay exclusion of Midlands Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E).
State v. Mendoza
A public record of a criminal conviction is not a police report and, thus, is not excluded by Midlands Rule of Evidence 803(8)(ii).
State v. Campbell
In Midlands, all criminal trials are bifurcated with a guilt phase followed by a penalty phase. It is improper for an attorney to comment on sentencing or discuss potential penalties during the guilt phase of the trial. Such conduct is grounds for a mistrial and may constitute conduct for which sanctions are appropriate.
State v. Parsons
During the guilt phase of a bifurcated trial, evidence is not relevant if it is directed solely to the penalty to be given to the defendant if found guilty.
Filteau v. Wanek
As long as the proponent of the statement produces evidence that would permit a reasonable jury to find that a given person made a particular statement, the court must assume for the purposes of assessing the statement's admissibility that the statement was made by that person.
Ginger v. Heisman
Emails or text messages are properly authenticated when the proponent of the evidence has produced evidence, either direct or circumstantial, that would allow a reasonable jury to determine the author of the message.
State v. Guliuzza's Franks and Beans, LLC
Pursuant to Midlands Rule of Evidence 104(a), courts may consider custodial documents, such as clerks' certifications or affidavits of records keepers, when determining the admissibility of other evidence without regard for the admissibility of the custodial document itself. The custodial document typically only addresses preliminary matters of admissibility and is not entered into evidence, and thus the court is not bound by the rules of evidence when considering it. However, if a party wishes to enter the custodial document itself into evidence, the proper foundation must be laid to establish its admissibility.
State v. Delvaux
Under Rule 404, general evidence as to the defendant's good character or law-abiding nature is not admissible. However, under Rule 404(a)(1), a criminal defendant may offer certain evidence of a "pertinent" character trait. The requirement that evidence be "pertinent" significantly exceeds the comparably low bar of relevancy. "Pertinence" is a more exacting standard by which the trait itself must directly relate to a particular element or facet of the crime charged.
State v. McClain
MRE 609 does not categorically exclude evidence of a defendant's prior criminal conviction punishable by less than one year of imprisonment.
State v. Clement
The prosecution attempted to introduce evidence of a prior conviction of the defendant under Rule 609. Defendant objected, arguing that the prior conviction of "theft by deception" only carried a sentence of 4 months and was not a "crime of dishonesty." The court notes that Midlands had separate charges of "theft" and "theft by deception." In defendant's prior case, she used a fake ID to gain access to a company's computer room and steal corporate information. This crime is, by its nature, deceptive and thus could be considered a "crime of dishonesty." The lower court erred in concluding this evidence was inadmissible because of the sentence and charge; therefore, we demand this case back to the court of criminal appeals to re-evaluate in light of this ruling.
State v. Bitterly
Where defendant used a false ID to enter a night club, the court concluded the prior conviction was admissible against the testifying defendant for the purpose of Rule 609.
State v. Peaches
The trial court erred in allowing evidence of a testifying defendant's conviction for shoplifting in 2000. In this case, the defendant walked into a liquor store and drank 5 forty ounce bottles of Natural Light beer before leaving the store without paying. While the defendant's choice of alcohol and openness in stealing the bottles was poor and illegal, it was not a "dishonest" theft. This court remands this case back to the trial court to reconsider whether the prior conviction is admissible on other grounds.
State v. Jehl
In a trial for charges related to manufacturing cocaine, the state argued to admit evidence of defendant's prior felony conviction for the manufacturing the drug "Everest." Since
defendant was not testifying, defendant argues that the evidence is not admissible. The state argued that the conviction was necessary to prove that defendant knew how to manufacture drugs. The trial court erred in admitting the prior conviction. While evidence may be admissible under one rule when it is not inadmissible under another rule, in this instance the prior conviction was for manufacturing a different drug and, therefore, not sufficiently probative to risk the danger of unfair prejudice.
State v. Hunley
The trial court erred when it excluded evidence of a prior conviction of a defendant just because the defendant did not testify. While Rule 609 does require that the defendant
testify for a prior conviction to be admissible, the trial court failed to consider whether the conviction would be admissible under other rules, such as character evidence pursuant to
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