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Impeachment with prior inconsistent statements

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Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.)

On February 7, 2008, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court issued a lengthy opinion on the rules governing the admission into evidence of a witness’s prior inconsistent statements for impeachment purposes. Though I have not yet read the full opinion, of particular note is that the appellate court determined that the trial judge applied the necessary balancing test for admitting such evidence, even though the record does not show the judge articulating any balancing considerations. Steven Jones v. Maryland, ___ Md. App. ___ (Feb. 7, 2008). I hope this case gets picked up by Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. Jon Katz