Oregon v. PayneAnnotate this Case
During defendant Isaiah Payne's trial for third-degree sexual abuse, the complainant denied including a racial description of defendant in her statement to police and accused defense counsel of trying to make her look racist. The author of the police report testified that he had included that racial description in quotation marks because it was a direct quote from the complainant. Based on the difference between the officer’s testimony and the complainant’s testimony, defendant requested the uniform witness-false-in-part jury instruction. The trial court denied that request, and the jury found defendant guilty. The Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that, even if the trial court had erred in failing to deliver the requested witness-false-in-part instruction, any error was harmless. The Oregon Supreme Court granted certiorari review to address whether a trial court had to give a requested witness-false-in-part jury instruction if there was evidence to support a conclusion that a witness consciously testified falsely. Based on the Supreme Court's statutory construction of the phrase “all proper occasions” in ORS 10.095, the Court concluded the trial court should have given the instruction. The Court concluded it was not a harmless error by the trial court. The Supreme Court therefore reversed the Court of Appeal and remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.