State v. Russum

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 08-20-2014
  • Case #: A147589
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; and Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

If a prosecutor makes an accidental intrusion into the defendant’s privileged communications with his client, the defendant bears the burden of proving that his constitutional rights have been prejudiced.

Defendant appealed his conviction on four counts of first-degree sodomy. Defendant was arrested after his eight-year-old step-daughter revealed that he had had sexual relations with her. While he was in jail awaiting his trial, Police Detective Hickey and various members of the jail staff opened or read part of Defendant’s written correspondence with his attorney. At trial, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, which was denied by the trial court. Defendant appealed and assigned error to the denial of his motion. On appeal, the Court found that the Defendant had not carried his burden of proving that the inadvertent intrusion into the attorney-client relationship was prejudicial. The Court further found that the lower court took the necessary precautions in order to ensure that defendant received a fair trial. Affirmed.

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