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Topics: Post-conviction relief – Section 99-39-7 – Jurisdiction – Permission fromSupreme Court

89547 -- State v. Mattox -- Nuss -- Kansas Supreme Court

The Supreme Court reversed the Eighth Circuit’s legal ..

Topics: Post-conviction relief – Section 99-39-7 – Permission from Supreme Court
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admission of the impeachment evidence) it would be entirely speculative for a reviewing court to
conclude that any harm may have occurred from the in limine ruling. Id. Additionally, courts
cannot assume that an adverse ruling motivated a defendant?s decision not to testify, particularly
when numerous factors are involved in such a decision. Id. Third, the Court noted that, as in
Luce and Finley, the defendant?s statement in Boyd invoking his Miranda rights was admissible
for the limited purpose of impeachment, id. at 375, and thus the Court was not dealing with a
situation where the defendant?s statement was inadmissible under all circumstances. Id. at n 9.
The analysis and holding of Luce, Finley, and Boyd are logical and practical. After all, in
each of those cases the trial court made an initial discretionary evidentiary ruling before trial, yet
the actual effect of the ruling was subject to future events. For example, even if the defendant
actually testified, the evidence still might not be submitted because the prosecutor may
ultimately elect not to utilize the evidence. See Boyd, supra at 369; Finley, supra at 519.
Additionally, if the defendant testifies, the trial court has an opportunity to modify the in limine
ruling if the actual testimony differs from what was anticipated at the time the in limine motion
was decided. Luce, supra at 41-41. Finally, without the defendant?s testimony and the
admission of the impeachment evidence, a reviewing court is significantly hampered in
determining what harm, if any, the erroneous admission caused. Boyd, supra at 377; Finley,
supra at 519.
As the remand order in this case implicitly suggested, this case contains a different twist.
Specifically, rather than involving a discretionary decision that is subject to change during trial,
in this case, the use of defendant?s ?involuntary? statement would be inadmissible for any
purpose. As we noted in our prior opinion, it ?is well-established that a defendant?s involuntary
statements ?may not be used for any purposes at trial, either for substantive evidence or for
impeachment purposes.?? Lucero, supra, slip op at 2, quoting People v Tyson, 423 Mich 357,
377; 377 NW2d 738 (1985), citing People v Reed, 393 Mich 342; 224 NW2d 867 (1975). Thus,
in this case, we are dealing with the precise issue raised in footnote 9 in Boyd, i.e., whether a
defendant must testify to preserve the trial court?s ruling when the evidence is not admissible for
any purpose.
We do not believe that this difference is significant enough to remove it from the
principles set forth in Boyd and Luce. Our conclusion is supported by the Court?s decision in
Finley. In that case, the trial court ruled prior to trial that the defendant?s prior convictions could
be used to impeach the defendant if he testified at trial. Finley, supra at 511. The defendant
chose not to testify, and he did not inform the court of the expected nature of his testimony had
he testified. Id. The defendant?s convictions were affirmed by this Court.
Affirming this Court?s decision, the Supreme Court adopted the Luce holding. Id. at 521.
One of the defendant?s arguments was that there were certain ?bright line? categories that only
required a legal analysis to decide on appeal, as opposed to needing a factual predicate for a
decision as in Luce. Id. at 518. The defendant therefore argued that the preservation-by-
testimony rationale in Luce did not apply to ?bright line? legal issues. Id. The Court rejected
that view, holding that most of the Luce preservation principles still applied to in limine
decisions that needed little, if any, factual basis to rule upon:
It is true that the question whether a conviction falls within a ?bright line?
category does not require a defendant?s testimony in order to be properly

Supreme Court Cases For Dummies: US History Review - Duration: 34:28

Topics: Post-conviction relief – Section 99-39-7 – Permission from Supreme Court –Jurisdiction
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defendant?s statement was not involuntary even though testimony revealed he smelled of alcohol
and had bloodshot, glazed eyes and blood test revealed a blood alcohol level of .22 and .145).
B. Preservation
The second issue on remand is whether defendant was required, consistent with Boyd, to
testify in order to preserve his objection to the trial court?s in limine ruling that his involuntary
statements could be used against him for purposes of impeachment. In the ordinary course, we
would not reach that issue because of our conclusion that the trial court erred in excluding
defendant?s statements. This is so because, as defendant?s voluntary statements were admissible
as substantive evidence, his objection to the more limited in limine ruling based upon an
involuntary statement is irrelevant. Since defendant?s statements were fully admissible,
defendant was faced with the same choice regarding whether to testify as are all other
defendants. Nonetheless, because our Supreme Court ordered us to consider both issues, and
because the Court could disagree with our conclusion on the voluntariness of defendant?s
statements, we will now address the preservation issue.9
In Boyd, the Supreme Court undertook the task of deciding ?whether a defendant must
testify in order to preserve for appellate review a challenge to a trial court?s ruling in limine
allowing evidence that the defendant exercised his Miranda right to remain silent.? Boyd, supra
at 365 (citation omitted). The Court held that a defendant was required to testify at trial in order
to preserve his challenge to the trial court?s in limine ruling, for in the absence of the defendant?s
trial testimony, the Court could not ?determine whether the trial court?s ruling was erroneous
and, if so, whether the error requires reversal.? Id. The Boyd Court?s holding was the natural
extension of the holdings in Luce v United States, 469 US 38; 105 S Ct 460; 83 L Ed 2d 443
(1984) and People v Finley, 431 Mich 506; 431 NW2d 19 (1988). Boyd, supra at 370-371, 377-
378.
In Boyd, the trial court ruled that the defendant?s invocation of his Miranda right to
remain silent was admissible at trial. However, the defendant never testified at trial (and gave no
reason for not testifying), and the prosecutor never sought to admit the statement into evidence
and never otherwise made reference to the statement. Id. at 367. On appeal to this Court, the
defendant argued that he did not testify at trial because of the trial court?s erroneous ruling. This
Court affirmed the convictions.
On further appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the defendant?s failure to
testify precluded appellate review. Citing to both Luce and Finley, the Court recognized three
concrete reasons for requiring a defendant to testify at trial in order to preserve an objection to
the in limine ruling. First, the Court noted that in Luce and Finley, both involving the decision to
admit prior convictions for impeachment purposes, the trial courts had the discretion to
subsequently modify an in limine ruling if a defendant?s actual testimony varied at trial. Boyd,
supra at 369. Second, the Court concluded that without a defendant?s actual testimony (and the

 

Not Mirandized, can I beat my Arkansas charges?

Topics: Post-conviction relief – Permission from Supreme Court – Section 99-39-7 –Frivolous filing
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I further explained to my client that if he decides to take the stand and
testify, it?s fair game and that every statement that he made had the potential
to be used against him.
The Court: For impeachment purposes?
Mr. Jaffe: For impeachment purposes, and I thought the matter had been resolved
prior to today, but nevertheless, from conferring with him at this moment and
again strongly recommending that he does not ? that he doesn?t take the
witness stand, I believe it is his decision to follow my recommendation and
not take the witness stand. Is that true, Mr. Lucero?
The Defendant: Yes, it is. [Emphasis added.] No offer of proof was provided regarding what defendant?s testimony would have been
had he testified at trial. Defendant was thereafter convicted of second-degree murder, and
sentenced to twenty-five to fifty years? imprisonment.
III. Analysis
As noted, the Supreme Court ordered us to decide two issues. First, we must determine
whether the trial court abused its discretion in holding that defendant?s custodial statements were
involuntary. Second, we are to decide whether defendant had to testify at trial in order to
preserve a challenge to the trial court?s ruling that his custodial statements were admissible only
for purposes of impeachment.
A. Voluntariness of Statement
For the reasons explained below, we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion6 by
determining that defendant?s custodial statements were involuntary. First, we hold that the trial
court erroneously relied upon defendant?s intoxication as the sole justification for finding the
statements to be involuntary. Second, we hold that defendant?s statements cannot be involuntary
without some finding of police misconduct or coercion, and the trial court made no such finding.
As such, we conclude that the trial court?s decision that the statements were involuntary was in
error, and must be reversed.

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The redistricting dispute then returned to Pennsylvania, where the state supreme court adopted a remedial plan. The Republican lawmakers urged the justices to step in, telling them (among other things) that the state supreme court had violated the Constitution’s elections clause, which gives state legislatures the authority to regulate federal congressional elections. This time Alito referred the request to the full court, but the justices did not act for nearly three weeks; when they finally did take action this afternoon, they issued only , without any recorded dissents. There is no way to know why the court waited so long to rule on the lawmakers’ request, although that the justices were waiting for a three-judge district court in Pennsylvania to act on a challenge to the new plan, which it did this afternoon.