State v. Kennedy

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 01-21-2021
  • Case #: A167635
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Mooney, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J. & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Evidence to show the bias of a witness is always relevant. State v. Crum, 287 Or App 541, 551-52, 403 P3d 405 (2017).

Defendant was convicted under ORS 162.315, resisting arrest. At the jury trial, the only witness was the arresting officer. Defendant assigned an error to the lower court having denied defendant the ability to impeach the sole witness with evidence that the witness broke Defendant’s foot. Defendant argued that the evidence of his broken foot was relevant to show the officer’s bias. The State argued that defendant was not prejudiced because the lower court allowed Defendant the chance to reopen the issue of his broken foot, however, defendant declined. "A defendant need only show that evidence is relevant in order to present such evidence for impeachment purposes." State v. Valle, 255 Or App 805, 810, 298 P3d 1237 (2013) (citing State v. Hubbard, 297 Or 789, 796, 688 P2d 1311 (1984)). Additionally, "evidence to show the bias of a witness is always relevant." State v. Crum, 287 Or App 541, 551-52, 403 P3d 405 (2017). The Court held that the lower court erred in denying Defendant the right to present evidence of his broken foot because the evidence would go to the credibility of the officer’s statements, which could prove bias or motive in providing false testimony. Reversed and remanded.

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