Prior inconsistent statements

The inability to remember in court, what about it?

If the witness testifies in court that the traffic light was green, and in a prior statement to police they said it was red.  That’s a prior inconsistent statement.  The witness may be impeached.  Asked the “on x to officer X, did you say red,” get the yes, move on; or get the no and offer the inconsistent statement.

But what if the witness says I don’t remember or I think it was amber, and you have a prior statement that the witness told the police officer it was red.

Well, this comes up in cases all the time.  Especially the complaining witness, “I don’t remember,” or there’s an equivocation.

Check out United States v. Damatta-Olivera, 37 M.J. 474 (C.M.A. 1993) and United States v. Meghdadi, 60 M.J. 438 (C.A.A.F. 2005).

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