Friday, December 20, 2013

Rock v. Arkansas case brief

Rock v. Arkansas case brief summary
483 U.S. 44 (1987)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner defendant sought review of a decision, by the Supreme Court of Arkansas, holding that Arkansas' evidentiary rule, prohibiting the introduction of hypnotically refreshed testimony, did not violate petitioner's fundamental constitutional right to testify on her own behalf pursuant to U.S. Constitutional amends. V, VI, XIV.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner defendant sought review of decision, by Supreme Court of Arkansas, holding that Arkansas' evidentiary rule, prohibiting introduction of hypnotically refreshed testimony, did not violate petitioner's fundamental constitutional right to testify on her own behalf.

DISCUSSION

  • On certiorari, the Supreme Court held that the exclusion of petitioner's hypnotically refreshed testimony was an impermissible limitation on petitioner's constitutional right to testify on her own behalf. 
  • The per se exclusion of testimony violated petitioner's U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV due process right to be heard and offer testimony. 
  • The exclusion of petitioner's testimony also violated the Compulsory Process Clause of U.S. Constitutional Amendment VI granting petitioner a right to call witnesses in her own favor. 
  • The exclusion violated petitioner's U.S. Constitutional Amendment V guarantee against compelled testimony because the right to testify in one's own behalf was a necessary corollary to that guarantee. 
  • Although hypnotically enhanced testimony was controversial and without established foundation, the inaccuracies it introduced could be reduced by procedural safeguards.
CONCLUSION
The Court vacated and remanded. Exclusion of petitioner's hypnotically refreshed testimony was an impermissible limitation on her constitutional right to testify on one's own behalf. The exclusion violated the Fifth Amendment guarantee against compelled testimony because the right to testify on one's own behalf was a necessary corollary to that guarantee.

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