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Admission of video and recorded statements did not violate Sixth Amendment

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The defendant in a drug trial was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his constitutional right to confront a witness was violated when the confidential informant did not testify at trial.

Antonio Vaughn was convicted by a jury and sentenced to an aggregate 40-year term for two counts of dealing in cocaine, each as a Class A felony, and one count of maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony. He was arrested and charged after a confidential informant made two controlled buys which the Terre Haute Police Department recorded on video.

At trial, the videos, photographs, recording of telephone calls and statements made during those calls were admitted into evidence.

On appeal, Vaughn argued the evidence was inadmissible and highly prejudicial hearsay. In addition, he claimed because the confidential informant did not take the stand, the admission of evidence violated his Sixth Amendment right to confront the witness along with his right to a fair trial under the Due Process Clause.

The Court of Appeals rejected those arguments and affirmed Vaughn’s conviction in Antonio L. Vaughn v. State of Indiana, 84A01-1302-CR-57.

Citing Williams v. State, 930 N.E.2d 602, 607 (Ind. Ct. App.), the Court of Appeals held the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment does not prohibit “the use of testimonial statements for purposes other than establishing the truth of the matter asserted.”

The videos and pictures of the controlled drug buys between Vaughn and the confidential informant only showed the conduct of the two parties and, according to the COA, were not meant to be an assertion.

The audio recordings of the telephone calls between Vaughn and the confidential informant did not constitute hearsay, the Court of Appeals ruled. The statements made by the confidential informant were designed to prompt Vaught to speak and were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted.

 
 

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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