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Police Interviews and Hearsay

In many criminal trials, a defendant speaks with law enforcement, and that conversation is recorded. And often the State wishes to introduce that recorded statement to the jury. But what is allowed into evidence? The defendant's "statements during the interview are not hearsay because they are admissions of a party offered against that party." But keep in mind that the defendant's statements are still subject to Rule 403.

But what about the statements by law enforcement who is conducting the interview? In a recent S.C. Court of Appeals case, State v. Washington, the court addressed that issue:

In Brewer, the SC Supreme Court held

"caution must be exercised in the admission of such evidence to ensure that all out-of-court statements are either 'admissible for a valid nonhearsay purpose or as an exception to the hearsay rule in order to safeguard against an end-run around the evidentiary and constitutional proscriptions against the admission of hearsay.' "

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A Defendant's Case and Their Rights

The defendant has a fundamental right to testify or not testify. · State v. Rivera, 402 S.C. 225 (2013). While the defendant as a right to be present at trial, they do not have a right to be absent


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