2011 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 — Criminal procedure
RS 15:440.5 — Admissibility of videotaped statements; discovery by defendant

LA Rev Stat § 15:440.5 What's This?

§440.5. Admissibility of videotaped statements; discovery by defendant

A. The videotape of an oral statement of the protected person made before the proceeding begins may be admissible into evidence if:

(1) No attorney for either party was present when the statement was made;

(2) The recording is both visual and oral and is recorded on film or videotape or by other electronic means;

(3) The recording is accurate, has not been altered, and reflects what the witness or victim said;

(4) The statement was not made in response to questioning calculated to lead the protected person to make a particular statement;

(5) Every voice on the recording is identified;

(6) The person conducting or supervising the interview of the protected person in the recording is present at the proceeding and available to testify or be cross-examined by either party;

(7) The defendant or the attorney for the defendant is afforded an opportunity to view the recording before it is offered into evidence; and

(8) The protected person is available to testify.

B. The admission into evidence of the videotape of a protected person as authorized herein shall not preclude the prosecution from calling the protected person as a witness or from taking the protected person's testimony outside of the courtroom as authorized in R.S. 15:283. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prohibit the defendant's right of confrontation.

C. In a criminal prosecution, when the state intends to offer as evidence a copy of a videotaped oral statement of a protected person made pursuant to the provisions of this Subpart, the defendant, through his attorney only, may be provided a copy of the videotape if the court determines it necessary to prepare a proper defense. If the defendant's attorney is provided a copy of the videotaped statement by court order or by permission of the district attorney, only the attorney and the defendant shall be permitted to view the tape, and no copies shall be made by any person. The copy shall be securely retained by the defendant's attorney at all times and shall not be possessed, transferred, distributed, copied, or viewed by any unauthorized party. It shall be the affirmative duty of the defendant's attorney to return the videotape to the court immediately upon conclusion of the case but in all cases prior to sentencing. A defendant who appears pro se in a criminal proceeding shall be allowed reasonable access to the videotape of a protected person only with an order of the court and under court-directed supervision. The tape shall be filed as part of the record under seal by the clerk of court for use in subsequent legal proceedings or appeals and shall only be released upon motion of the state or counsel of record with an order of court and in compliance with this Section. Any violation of this Subsection shall be punished as contempt of court. Any person who makes an unauthorized disclosure of the videotape or its contents may also be subject to liability for civil damages, including punitive damages.

Acts 1984, No. 563, §1; Acts 1990, No. 654, §1; Acts 2004, No. 241, §1; Acts 2008, No. 85, §1.

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