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People v. Nelson, D057195

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By FindLaw Staff on December 20, 2010 11:39 AM

No violation of Crawford right of confrontation

People v. Nelson, D057195, concerned a conviction of defendant for premeditated attempted murder with a finding that he personally discharged a firearm.  In rejecting defendant's claim that his constitutional right to confront witnesses was violated by the admission of the victim's out-of-court statement identifying defendant as the perpetrator, the court held that the victim's brief statement, made on the night of the shooting in the ambulance when the victim was close to death, was nontestimonial, and as such trial court's admission of the statement did not violate defendant's rights under Crawford.

As the court wrote: "[t]he circumstances here involve an unidentified shooter loose in the community, a single question requesting information relevant to immediate public safety, a two-word response by a victim while he was being rushed to the hospital with a potentially fatal injury, and transmittal of the victim's statements to the police that same night.  They highly informal circumstances and brevity of the inquiry concerning a basic question of identity on the night of the incident reflect a response to an immediate situation rather than an investigative purpose."

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