Commonwealth v. RandAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of assault and battery and strangulation, holding that admitting the victim's statements did not violate Defendant's right to confrontation under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.
The victim did not testify at trial. Instead, a recording of the victim's 911 call and the responding officers' recounting of the victim's statements were admitted. The Appeals Court reversed Defendant's convictions on the grounds that his confrontation rights were violated. On appeal, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions, holding (1) because most of the admitted statements were not made with the primary purpose of creating a substitute for trial testimony they were non testimonial and did not violate Defendant's confrontation rights; and (2) to the extent that the victim's statements were testimonial, the only such statement was duplicative of other evidence, and its admission was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.