State v. Baughman

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 04-28-2017
  • Case #: S064086
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Walters, J. for the Court; En Banc
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 403, the trial court must conduct a balancing test in a criminal action where the state presents evidence of uncharged acts in order to prove a defendant’s tendency to commit crimes under OEC 404(4), or a nonpropensity purpose under 404(3), and defendant objects to the evidence being admitted.

Defendant appealed the Court of Appeals decision and argued that the trial court erred in admitting evidence as nonprepensity evidence under OEC 404(3). In a criminal action where the state presents evidence of uncharged acts in order to prove a defendant’s tendency to commit crimes under OEC 404(4), or a nonpropensity purpose under 404(3), and defendant objects to the evidence being admitted, then the trial court must conduct balancing under OEC 403. Under OEC 403, the court must determine whether the probative value of the evidence being challenged substantially outweighed by the possibility of unfair prejudice. Under 404(4)(d), the trial court must deny evidence that would make the trial fundamentally unfair and violate the Due Process Clause. In this case, the trial court erred in allowing evidence for what it determined to be were three nonpropensity purposes. The Court of Appeals is affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's judgment. The case was remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

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