Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Knapp v. State case brief

Knapp v. State case brief summary
79 N.E. 1076 (Ind. 1907)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant sought review of a Wayne Circuit Court (Indiana) conviction of murder in the first degree, contending that state's rebuttal evidence was improperly admitted and jury instructions requested by appellant were not given.

CASE FACTS
Appellant stood convicted of murder in the first degree. Appellant claimed self-defense, testifying that he had heard that the deceased had clubbed and seriously injured an old man in arresting him, and that he died a short time afterwards. Appellant contended that it was error to admit rebuttal testimony that the old man died of senility and alcoholism, and that there were no bruises nor marks on his person; that the question was whether he had, in fact, heard the story, and not as to its truth or falsity.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • To show that there was no basis in fact for the statement appellant claimed to have heard had a tendency to make it less probable that his testimony on this point was true. 
  • With respect to jury instructions, the court had the right to choose its own mode of expression.

CONCLUSION
Judgment of conviction affirmed since rebuttal evidence was properly admitted to show there was no basis in fact for the statement appellant claimed to have heard.


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