ILNews

Admission of video and recorded statements did not violate Sixth Amendment

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

 
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

ADVERTISEMENT