We reject the contention of defendant that the court violated his constitutional right of confrontation by refusing to admit in evidence a tape recording of threats made against him by his ex-wife. "[T]he extent to which an examination may be pursued for the purpose of proving the hostility of a witness is within the discretion of the court" (People v Sutherland, 280 AD2d 622, 623, lv denied 96 NY2d 835; see also People v Jones, 37 AD3d 1111, lv denied 8 NY3d 986). "If bias or interest has been fully explored through other means . . ., or the precluded area involved cumulative matter already presented . . ., there generally has been no infringement of the right of confrontation" (People v Chin, 67 NY2d 22, 29; see People v Corby, 6 NY3d 231, 235-236) and, here, the court afforded defendant a sufficient opportunity to establish the hostility of the witness. Contrary to the further contention of defendant, the court properly permitted his ex-wife to testify concerning their marital discord to explain or clarify issues brought out on cross-examination (see generally People v Mateo, 2 NY3d 383,425, cert denied 542 US 946).
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The Right To Present Evidence of Threats by Complainant is Limited
In People v Valentine 2008 NY Slip Op 01231 [2/8/08] the Court affirmed holdings restricting the ability of a defendant to have a jury consider evidence of the complainant’s hostility towards the defendant