Sunday, December 22, 2013

State v. Jones case brief

State v. Jones case brief summary
532 A.2d 169 (Md. 1987)

Appellant state sought review of an order of the Court of Special Appeals (Maryland), which reversed the convictions of defendant for a third degree sexual offense, battery, and misconduct in office. The court granted certiorari in the case to consider the admissibility of certain evidence in the light of a recent decision.

The trial court allowed a trooper's testimony into evidence about what he heard two declarants say on a citizens band radio under the present sense impression exception to the hearsay rule. Defendant was tried, convicted, and he appealed. The court of special appeals reversed the conviction. The court granted certiorari.


  • The court reversed the decision of the court of special appeals and remanded. 
  • The court found the trooper's testimony had slightly changed with the judge and the jury, which could have been due to spontaneity but that defendant did not preserve the issue on appeal. 
  • The court held the time interval between observation and utterance was short. 
  • The court found the declarants spoke from personal knowledge and that the actual identity of the declarants was not required. 
  • Moreover, corroboration by an equally percipient witness was not required. 
  • The court held it was more likely than not the statements heard by the trooper pertained to the incident so the statements were relevant. 
  • The court found the confrontation clause was not violated because the declarants were not available and reliability could be inferred.
The court reversed the judgment of the court of special appeals that reversed defendant's convictions and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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