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Defendant was convicted by a jury of lewd molestation and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The judge’s sentence accordingly. On appeal, the defendant argued that three errors occurred.
First, he argued that the trial court committed plain error when it permitted the jury unfettered access to the DVD of the victims forensic interview during deliberations without falling proper procedure. A laptop computer to play the DVD was also provided. The defendant contends that the jury was given unfettered access to repeatedly view the victim’s forensic interview, which he argues likely led to repeated viewing of the video and ultimately undue emphasis on the victim’s version of the offense.
The defendant’s attorney did not object at trial. That means he did not object to provide the jury with a videotape in the means by which to view it. Therefore, the defendant waived all but plain error for review. The decision to larger to take exhibits with them to the jury room is within the discretion of the trial court. The defendant asserts however, the trial court abused its discretion and relief is what it is to the the trial court’s handling of the victims for your tape forensic interview violated the guidelines set forth in a 1987 case.
In that case the child victim testified it was subject to thorough cross-examination. First, the cross-examination occurred in a closed room on camera and later in person and from the jury. When the jury retired to delivery, a videotape play was up in the jury room and recording of the child’s testimony was provided to the jury for additional viewing. On appeal that case, the court found that the videotape the child victims) testimony at trial was not merely an exhibit, it was testimony.
The court determined that placing videotape testimony in the unrestrained hands of the jury during deliberations creates a great risk of prejudice. Therefore, consistent with state statute, the court held that before videotape test may can be replayed for jury, the trial court misconduct jury back in open court to determine the exact nature of the jury’s difficulty, isolate the precise testimony which can solve it, and way to probative value the testimony against the danger of undue emphasis.
After that martini seven case, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals further clarify the proper use of video and audio tapes by the jury during deliberations, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. Tape testimony cannot go with the jury into deliver liberations. However taped exhibits can.
If the recording is an exhibit, you can go with the jury to deliberations like any other exhibit. However, if recording his testimony, the recording may not go with the jury into deliberations and may only be replayed for the jury pursuant to the requirements of fourth in state statute and in previous case law.
The issue in this case was whether the victim’s videotaped forensic interviews recorded testimony or exhibit. At first glance, it would appear that the victim’s forensic interview is merely an exhibit was easily distinguishable from a record testimony at issue. The victim testified at trial and like the previous case, a videotaped interview was not testimony per say but instead was a recording of her forensic interview admitted into evidence as an exhibit. In fact, both the trial court and parties proceed the victim’s videotaped interview to be an exhibit despite clearly being aware of case precedent.
After about two and half hours into the jury deliberation, jury set out two separate notes within a few minutes time spent. In the first note, the jury request a copy of preliminary hearing testimony which has been read into evidence during the states case in chief. In the second of the jury asking we get the TV? We cannot hear the DVDs. The trial court and the litigants conferred upon both questions that essentially the same time.
With regard to the jurors request for the preliminary hearing testimony, the implications of case precedent were discussed at length and in keeping with the case, of the testimony was not provided to the jury. Rather the jurors’ request was handled in open court. On the other hand, with regard to the jurors request for TV to view the DVDs, and the applicability of case precedent to the victim’s videotaped friends again interview was never contemplated by the trial court or the parties.
As shown by the circumstances of this matter, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals said that guidance was clearly needed. Both parties on appeal acknowledged that the victims forensic interview bears the hallmarks of in court testimony. Specifically, the forensic interview did the following: 1) ascertain the victim was able to understand the difference between the truth and lie and 2) had the victim the firm as an of them Sheila tell the truth during an interview. Although the details of the victims recorded and you did not marry her test where trial, the two accounts were for the most part consistent with each other. Consequently, the victim’s videotaped interview was the equivalent of recorded testimony. Compliance with state statute in this occurs outlining case president were required in that manner.
Videotaped forensic interviews of a child possessing the principal attributes of a court testimony should not go to the jury to deliberations nor be replayed for the jury without meeting the requirements set forth in state statute and case precedent, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. To require reversal, however, there must be a error plus injury. Arellano does not reverse convictions in Oklahoma. Only errors plus injury will be cause for reversal. No injury occurred in this case. The victim’s testimony was corroborated independently by other evidence. The witness from the victim’s creams discovered defendant with his shorts down to his ankles on the floor standing there the victim. Additionally, the victim had multiple abrasions, bruising and soft tissue damage her neck that was consistent with the defendant having chapter. Consistent with regulation, the victim’s right eye had an injury.