State v. Chandler

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 09-22-2016
  • Case #: S063096
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Baldwin, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; Landau, J.; Brewer, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A person’s out-of-court statement about the credibility of a witness or nonwitness complainant is subject to the categorical prohibition against vouching evidence only if the statement is offered for the truth of the credibility opinion that it expresses.

Defendant appealed a conviction first-degree sexual abuse, assigning error to the trial court’s admission of a videotaped pretrial interrogation that included statements by the Detective indicating her belief that Defendant was lying and that the victims were telling the truth.  Defendant argued the Detective’s statements commented on his credibility and the credibility of the victims, and thereby constituted impermissible vouching testimony.  Under the rule articulated by Justice Unis in his concurrence in State v. Odoms, 313 Or 76 (1992), when a person makes an out-of-court statement about the credibility of a witness, that statement is subject to the categorical prohibition against vouching evidence only if the statement is offered for the truth of the credibility opinion that it expresses.  At trial, the Detective’s videotaped comments were not offered to prove the truth of her beliefs; rather, they were offered to provide context for Defendant’s statements.  Therefore, the trial court did not err in admitting the videotaped pretrial interrogation. Affirmed. 

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