State v. Johnson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 11-01-2017
  • Case #: A156737
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong. P.J. for the Court; Egan, J. & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 403, "relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger or unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.”

Defendant appealed from a conviction for intentional murder with a firearm. On appeal, Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it decided to admit photographs of the victim’s autopsy in conjunction with testimony from a medical examiner about the autopsy under OEC 403. Defendant argued that the court failed to construct a record that reflected the court’s balancing test as required by OEC 403.  “[R]elevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger or unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.” OEC 403. In considering a ruling on an OEC 403 objection,   The Court of Appeals disagreed with Defendant’s arguments, and determined that the trial court had engaged in the requisite balancing test required in Mayfield. The Court opined that the trial court had properly considered the probative value of the photographs on the record, and analyzed the danger of unfair prejudice on the Defendant. The Court found that the trial court had properly followed the requirements laid out in Mayfield when it asked several questions on the record relating to the evidence as it determined and weighed the probative value of the evidence and the danger of unfair prejudice on the defendant.  Affirmed. 

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