From the Mouths of Babes... | Speaker Law
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From the Mouths of Babes...

Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

In lieu of granting Defendant’s application for leave in a case involving the murder of a four-year old child, the MSC issued a memorandum opinion in People v Michael William Stamper, on December 27, 2007. The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction and the decision of the Court of Appeals. In doing so, the Supreme Court held that a child can have the capacity to be conscious of his own impending death for purposes of the dying declaration exception to the general hearsay rule. The Defendant’s girlfriend heard her four year old son crying after Defendant had given him a bath. When she asked the child to open his eyes, he said, “Mom, I can’t, I’m dead.” The child also said, “don’t bother me, I’m already dead,” and later at the hospital, and shortly before his death, the child indicated that his bruising was, “from Mike [Defendant],” who was, “Mom’s wife.” The Court concluded that, despite the child’s young age, the facts of the case satisfied the hearsay exception and his statements against Defendant were properly admissible as dying declaration.

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