People v. McLaughlin.
2023 CO 38. No. 21SC506. Criminal Law—Colorado Rules of Evidence—Rule of Completeness—Self-Serving Hearsay—Impeachment of a Hearsay Declarant.
June 20, 2023
The Supreme Court considered (1) whether self-serving hearsay is admissible under the rule of completeness (CRE 106), and (2) whether admitting a defendant-declarant’s self-serving hearsay under the rule of completeness authorizes the prosecution to impeach the defendant-declarant under CRE 806.
The Court first held that under CRE 106, if the prosecution creates a misleading impression by excluding a defendant’s statements that ought in fairness to be considered contemporaneously with the proffered evidence, then the rule of completeness requires the prosecution to introduce such statements.
Second, the Court held that when a defendant-declarant’s statements are admitted under the rule of completeness, the prosecution may not impeach the defendant declarant under CRE 806.
Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.