State v. Spieler

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 03-18-2015
  • Case #: A148904
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; & Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Defendant's confession in order to cooperate with police was not improper. Prosecutors closing remarks concerning defense's inability to admit evidence, as evidence of defendant’s guilt, was improper.

Defendant was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, M. Police were called after STAR Center informed them of M’s confession to them concerning sexual misconduct. When Police served a warrant, Defendant was informed that cooperation would likely be rewarded; Defendant gave a confession to his misconduct. At trial the prosecution attempted to admit the STAR Center taped recording of the M interview. Objections were raised and sustained; prosecution never attempted to re-enter the tapes as evidence. At closing, the Prosecution discussed the STAR tapes and used the Defense’s failure to bring them in as evidence of Defendant’s misconduct. The Court determined this was not harmless error. Overruling Defense’s objection appeared to the jury to be an admission of the prosecution’s superior knowledge on the law concerning this subject. Convictions on Counts 4, 5, and 6 reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

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