Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Meeks (the “defendant”), appealed his conviction of First Degree murder, claiming the statements of the victim were hearsay and that he should be afforded the opportunity to confront the victim.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a dying victim makes statements to an officer, they are considered to be grounded in truth; a defendant wishing to object, based on the right to confrontation, forfeits that objection.
Premeditation may be inferred from (1) the nature of the weapon used; (2) lack of provocation; (3) the defendant's conduct before and after the killing; (4) threats and declarations of the defendant before and during the occurrence; and (5) the dealing of lethal blows after the deceased was felled and rendered helpless.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the statements of a dying victim can be used when no later Sixth Amendment confrontation will be available?
Held. Affirmed. The court found it did not need to determine the nature of Mr. Green’s statements, insofar as whether they were testimonial or not, because the defendant forfeited his right to confrontation when he killed the witness.
Discussion. The Sixth Amendment constitutional right to confrontation is rarely forfeited; however, when a witness has been killed, by the defendant, the defendant has lost that r.