For Those Times When…

… the judge says “No you can’t cross-exam that witness!”  B.M. v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D1460 (Fla. 3d DCA, Jul 6, 2011), Defense appeal, reversed for new trial.

The Sixth Amendment, as incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment, guarantees a defendant in a state criminal prosecution the right to a full and fair opportunity to cross-examine prosecution witnesses in order to show their bias or motive to be untruthful. Olden v. Kentucky, 488 U.S. 227 (1988); Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673 (1986); Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308 (1974); Mosley v. State, 616 So. 2d 1129 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993); Caton v. State, 597 So. 2d 412 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992). And a defendant also has the right to offer additional evidence to show the bias of prosecution witnesses. See § 90.608(2), Fla. Stat. (1993); see also Diaz v. State, 597 So. 2d 368 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992). Therefore, when a prosecution witness is under internal investigation for the incident which gave rise to the charges against a defendant, or when there is a pending civil suit or criminal charge against the witness arising out of the incident, those matters may be inquired into on cross-examination or developed in the defense case. Mosley; Caton; Diaz.

Chadwick v. State, 680 So. 2d 567, 568 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996); see also § 90.608(2), Fla. Stat. (2011) (“Any party . . . may attack the credibility of a witness by . . . [s]howing that the witness is biased.); Shaw v. State, 831 So. 2d 772, 773 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002).

http://www.ejdirga.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: