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Narrative Statement — Distinct Assertions — Admissibility Methodology

State v. Shelleen B. Joyner, 2002 WI App 250, PFR filed 10/24/02
For Joyner: Margaret A. Maroney, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:

¶18. Shelleen Joyner argues that Trudy Joyner’s statement is against her penal interest, however, because Trudy Joyner admitted that she “knowingly helped a robber escape.” We disagree. “[W]hen ruling upon a narrative’s admissibility … a court must break it down and determine the separate admissibility of each ‘single declaration or remark.'” United States v. Canan, 48 F.3d 954, 959 (6th Cir. 1995) (quoting Williamson v. United States, 512 U.S. 594, 599 (1994)). “[E]ach particular assertion in a narrative should be interpreted within the context of the circumstances under which it was made to determine if that assertion is in fact sufficiently against interest.” Silverstein v. Chase, 260 F.3d 142, 148 (2d Cir. 2001) (citing Williamson, 512 U.S. at 603-604).

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