always_raining wrote: Mad Hatter wrote:
- [+] Spoiler
- A defendant is tried for armed robbery of a convenience store. The prosecutor offers the testimony of a bartender that when he saw the money in the defendant's wallet, he said, "You must have just held up a store to have that much money," to which the defendant made no reply.
This evidence is:
I chose: admissible to prove that the defendant's conduct caused the bartender to believe that the defendant robbed the convenience store.
Right answer: inadmissible, because the defendant had no reason to respond to the bartender's statement.
The explanation says that it wouldn't fall under the party admission doctrine because a reasonable person would be silent. My question is: who cares though, if the statement isn't being used to prove that the robbery took place, only that the bartender thought that it did? Why is this a hearsay issue to begin with?
I should add that this is one of the NCBE non-approved Q's, so maybe its a fuckup...
If the prosecution was able to get this "admission" in, then it would be used to show that the defendant admitted to the robbery since s/he did not specifically deny it. So it would be an admission (not hearsay). Since a reasonable person would not feel compelled to deny the statement (or if it can't be proved that the defendant actually heard the bartender), then it is not an admission and instead is hearsay
. Basically, the question is asking you whether the defendant admitted to the robbery by not denying the statement.
I see why it's confusing. It doesn't really matter what the bartender thought; it matters how the defendant responded.
As an example, let's say the bartender did not think defendant robbed a bank but then the defendant said to the bartender "I robbed a bank." Even if the bartender still did not believe that, it would probably be used as an admission still since the defendant said it (and we still don't care what the bartender thinks). This is the opposite situation. What matters is how the defendant responded, i.e., did the defendant admit it by not denying (or by explicitly stating it)?
Maybe a clearer example would be something like this: you get home after going to the store and your best friend sees what he thinks is your picture on TV for a suspect in a bank robbery. Your best friend believes it is you (even though your best friend is mistaken). If your best friend says to you "hey did you just rob that bank? I saw your picture on TV as a suspect" and you don't say anything (assuming a reasonable person would deny, and you had the chance to deny it), then your silence could be an admission even though your friend has a mistaken belief that the photo is of you.
Hope that helps. If anyone thinks I've misstated something, please correct!
Wow. Funky question.
I initially responded saying that the prosecution is trying to get that statement in to prove the truth of the matter asserted, namely that the bartender saw the money in the D's wallet and believed that he robbed the store, and the D is on trial for exactly that. So it's definitely a hearsay issue. Am now editing to add in the quoted text above.
The boldest part is the best explanation I can think of. If a "reasonable person" (not this D) wouldn't feel compelled to deny a claim like that, then it's not an admission, and I guess when you're thinking in objective terms, rather than subjectively this D would of course feel compelled to deny it because he did it, then it makes sense.
The distinction is between an actual party admission by the party
vs not denying an "admission" made by another party
where a reasonable person would feel compelled to deny it. The above poster is also correct that the party must have actually heard the statement, and had the ability to deny it. The example I remember from the lecture, which helps illustrate it, was the Lincoln assassination conspirators are sitting around a table when one states "John Wilkes Booth will be the one to assassinate Lincoln." If Booth was in the room, heard the statement, and didn't deny it, that would be deemed an adoptive admission at his trial if Lincoln was, in fact, assassinated.