Tuesday, April 24, 2007

S.C. Supreme Court affirms that Crawford does not apply to statements made to non-governmental officers

In State v. Ladner, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Bryan Ladner on charges of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first degree. The Court rejected Ladner's arguments that a statement of a child to her mother about sexual abuse was testimonial in nature under Crawford v. Washington. In the words of the Court: "Significantly, the victim’s statement is much more akin to a remark to an acquaintance rather than a formal statement to government officers." Finally, the Court held that this statement was properly admitted into evidence as an excited utterance:

Clearly, the statement related to the startling event of the victim being severely injured in her vaginal area. The victim was complaining of pain and was bleeding when the statements were made, and thus, the victim made the declaration while under the stress of her attack.

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