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Criminal Procedure

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"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain Jan 2011

"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain

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A three-year-old child, while being bathed by her babysitter, innocently mentions that her “pee-pee” hurts. When the babysitter asks the child how she hurt it, she says, “Uncle Ernie (her mother’s boyfriend) told me not to tell.” A subsequent medical examination reveals that the child has gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.

By the time of trial, the child is four and-a-half-years old. When questioned by the trial judge, she cannot explain to the judge’s satisfaction, “the difference between the truth and a lie.” Moreover, she has no long term memory of the incident. The judge rules the child ...


Post-Crawford: Time To Liberalize The Substantive Admissibility Of A Testifying Witness's Prior Consistent Statements, Lynn Mclain Oct 2005

Post-Crawford: Time To Liberalize The Substantive Admissibility Of A Testifying Witness's Prior Consistent Statements, Lynn Mclain

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The United States Supreme Court's 1995 decision in Tome v. United States has read Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(B) to prevent the prosecution's offering a child abuse victim's prior consistent statements as substantive evidence. As a result of that decision, the statements will also be inadmissible even for the limited purpose of helping to evaluate the credibility of a child, if there is a serious risk that the out-of-court statements would be used on the issue of guilt or innocence.

Moreover, after the Court's March 2004 decision in Crawford v. Washington, which redesigned ...