For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 18

[A] sufficient consensus exists within
the academic, professional, and law
enforcement communities, confirmed
in varying degrees by courts, to warrant
the conclusion that the use of coercive or
highly suggestive interrogation techniques
can create a significant risk that the
interrogation itself will distort the child's
recollection of events, thereby undermining
the reliability of the statements and
subsequent testimony concerning such
events.169
The court asserted "children, as a class, are not
to be viewed as inherently suspect witnesses."170
But "children generate special concerns
because of their vulnerability, immaturity, and
impressionability."171
The Michaels court held that a pretrial taint
hearing was necessary to establish "whether the
pretrial events, the investigatory interviews and
interrogations, were so suggestive that they give
rise to a substantial likelihood of irreparably
mistaken or false recollection of material facts

bearing on defendant's guilt."172 The case was
remanded for a taint hearing.173 The court
determined that the defendant carries the initial
burden to show some evidence of taint exists to
be entitled to a hearing.174 The burden then shifts
to the prosecution to support the admissibility by
clear and convincing evidence.175
In Pennsylvania, as a case of first impression,
the taint hearing was established in the case of
Commonwealth v. Delbridge. The Delbridge court
first defined taint as:
The core belief underlying the theory of
taint is that a child's memory is peculiarly
susceptible to suggestibility so that when
called to testify a child may have difficulty
distinguishing facts from fantasy. Taint
is the implantation of false memories or
the distortion of real memories caused by
interview techniques of law enforcement,
social service personnel, and other
interested adults, that are so unduly
suggestive and coercive as to infect the
memory of the child, rendering the child
incompetent to testify.176
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that
a competency hearing was the proper forum to
address a taint issue.177 The general rule is that
every person is presumed competent to be a
witness in Pennsylvania, per Pennsylvania Rule
of Evidence 601.178 Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence
601, regarding competency of witnesses reads as
follows:
	 (a) General Rule. Every person is
competent to be a witness except as
otherwise provided by statute or in
these rules.
	 (b) Disqualification for Specific
Defects. A person is incompetent to
testify if the court finds that because of
a mental condition or immaturity the
person:
(1) is, or was, at any relevant time,
incapable of perceiving accurately;
(2) is unable to express himself or
herself so as to be understood either
directly or through an interpreter;
(3) has an impaired memory; or
(4) does not sufficiently understand
the duty to tell the truth.179

18

For The Defense

l

Vol. 4, Issue 4


http://www.cornerstonediscovery.com

For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 6
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 7
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 8
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 9
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 10
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 11
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 12
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 13
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 14
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 15
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 16
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 17
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 18
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 19
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 20
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 21
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 22
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 23
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 24
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 25
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 26
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 27
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 28
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 29
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 30
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 31
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 32
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 33
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 34
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 35
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 36
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 37
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 38
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 39
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 40
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 41
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 42
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 43
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 44
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 45
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 46
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 47
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 48
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 49
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 50
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 51
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 52
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 53
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 54
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 55
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 56
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 57
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 58
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol6_issue1_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue4_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue3_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue2_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue1_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue4_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue3_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue2_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue1_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue4_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue3_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue2_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue1_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue4_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue3_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue2_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue1_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue4_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue3_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue2_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue1_2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com