Since the prosecution did not disclose any criminal records to the defense in the instant case, it might be appropriate to conclude, absent some showing to the contrary, that the prosecution possessed no exculpatory records with regard to any material witnesses. I would affirm the trial judge's ruling because the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the hearsay statements under the Rule 2 hearsay exception. Dewey Cannon, the Center's maintenance supervisor, was applying new wax to the hallway floor outside W. When Schugk left W.
Such an approach though somewhat unsettling theoretically as an example of a statement lifting itself into admissibility by its own bootstraps, is justified by the last sentence of Rule [of Evidence] a which provides that in making preliminary determinations the judge "is not bound by the rules of evidence except those with respect to privileges. If no prejudice to appellant is found, the conviction will stand. While we believe impeachment evidence may, in certain circumstances, so impact a case as to constitute exculpatory evidence, we can not say the prosecution viewed the issue in the same way. However, since attorneys are sometimes unable to predict before trial which of the opposing party's witnesses will be the most valuable, we decline to impose a stricter identification requirement than the one set forth in the text. Superior Court, 20 Cal. This rule does not require exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures when offered for another purpose Perhaps the accurate rule of thumb might be that where the time interval between the event and the statement is long enough to permit reflective thought, the statement will be excluded in the absence of some proof that the declarant did not in fact engage in a reflective thought process. In a written statement made five days after the alleged event, Cannon claimed the molestation had occurred for ten to fifteen minutes. In recognition of this fact, courts have generally been willing to characterize statements as products of exciting occurrences despite a significant lapse in time between the event and the statement, so long as adequate evidence suggests the declarant was still under the stress of the event at the time the statement was made. At trial, Schugk and Nutt testified as to the statements W. Dewey Cannon, the Center's maintenance supervisor, was applying new wax to the hallway floor outside W. However, in order to answer that question, the trial court was first required to weigh conflicting testimony and ascertain whether, as a factual matter, the requisite startling event had occurred. While, in the instant case, we conclude the trial court misinterpreted the "good cause" provision of Rule 16 a 5 , we are unable to determine the harmfulness of that misinterpretation, as appellant has failed, albeit through no fault of his own, to identify any prejudice to his case as a result of the court's error. Rather, it constituted a bid by the defense to discover which, if any, of the State's witnesses had prior criminal convictions which could be used for impeachment purposes. Rulings on evidentiary matters are committed to the discretion of the trial judge and will not be reversed on appeal unless it is shown that the ruling was a clear abuse of discretion or that it affected the substantial rights of the defendant. One-Sided Access to Criminal Records Certain types of criminal convictions may bear directly on the reliability of a witness, especially in the eyes of a lay jury. Appellant failed to supplement its motion with regard to any of the witnesses, however, and was thus denied access to any of the requested criminal records which might exist. Appellant now challenges his conviction, claiming the trial court erred in 1 determining W. See also State v. Nonetheless, to avoid abuse of the discovery process, and to minimize "fishing expeditions," trial courts may exercise discretion in determining whether certain witnesses for whom criminal records are requested are so clearly unimportant i. We believe a standard similar to those applied in the above cases best satisfies the defense's need to gain disclosure of potentially valuable criminal records, without forcing the prosecution to unreasonably perform research at the behest of, and for the benefit of, the defense. However, as previously noted, appellant asserts that his inability to show prejudice does not stem from his failure to adequately investigate the case, but rather from the fact that criminal records provided the only means of determining whether any State witnesses had criminal pasts. In short, given the record before us, we are unable to determine whether criminal records exist which, if disclosed, may have had a significant impact upon the trial such that their nondisclosure constitutes prejudicial error. See Ramirez, P. By recognizing the State's representations concerning the intended use of the evidence as establishing good cause, the Cannon Court implicitly held that 1 "good cause" requires only a showing that disclosure of requested evidence is necessary to the proper preparation of the defense and 2 such a showing is made whenever the trial court is apprised of the fact that the evidence is material to an issue to be raised at trial. We recognize that, on the morning in question, appellant left W.
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