State v. Nieves

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Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968), is not violated by the admission of a non-testifying co-defendant’s statements that are nontestimonial. Accordingly, under the circumstances of this case, Defendant’s confrontation rights were not violated. Defendant was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, as a party to the crime and with the use of a dangerous weapon, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, as a party to the crime with the use of a dangerous weapon. On appeal, Defendant argued that the circuit court’s failure to sever his trial from the trial of his co-defendant and the subsequent admission of his co-defendant’s inculpatory statements violated his rights under Bruton. The Supreme Court held (1) the circuit court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to sever the trials because the co-defendant’s statements were nontestimonial; and (2) the admission of a hearsay statement was harmless. View "State v. Nieves" on Justia Law