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Exceptions To Hearsay Case Study

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Booth v. State

Topic: Exceptions to Hearsay

Case: Booth v. State 306 Md. 313, 508 A.2d 976. (1986)

Facts: James Edward Ross was murdered in his home, just prior to his death man made two statements to Regina Harrison over the telephone. At trial, the State introduced that Regina telephoned Ross on the day of his murder and she testified that Ross told her, he was going to ask Brenda to leave because he was getting ready to cook dinner. Also, Regina testified that she heard the door open and Ross questioning who were there, then Ross told her that Brenda was talking to some guy behind the door. Booth’s counsel objected to Regina’s testimony alleging it was hearsay not permitted. However, the trial court admitted the Regina’s testimony under the Present Sense Impression.

History:
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United States

Topic: Exception to Hearsay

Case: Shepard v. United States, 290 U.S. 96, 54 S.Ct.22, 78 L.Ed. 196. (1933)

Facts: Shepard, defendant, was charged and convicted of the murdering his wife. Prosecution introduced statement Shepard’s wife made to the nurse as evidences during the trial. Shepard’s wife told her nurse stating that her husband had poisoned her. She also asked the nurse to find the whiskey bottle from defendant’s closet and perform the poison test which she had drunk from. The prosecution introduced the wife’s conversation based on the state of mind exception and dying declaration exception under the hearsay rule. Shepard appeared.

History: The trial court allowed the testimony and convicted the defendant. However, both the District Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals held the testimony inadmissible. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court of the United.

Issue: 1. Does the statements of the Shepard’s wife admissible under the dying declaration exception to the hearsay rule? 2. Does the statements of the Shepard’s wife made to her nurse were admissible to show her state of mind, thus qualifying as an exception to the hearsay
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