Davis v. Washington Hammon v. Indiana
126 S. Ct. 2266 (2006)
In Davis v. Washington, Davis's ex-girlfriend made
a 911 call in which she stated that Davis had assaulted her and just fled
In Hammon v. Indiana, when police responded to a
reported domestic disturbance, Hammonís wife said nothing was wrong, but
let them in.† After entering, police separated wife from Hammon and
interviewed her, and in response to their questions, she said Hammon
assaulted her, and she also swore to an affidavit to the same effect.
At both trials, the witnesses did not appear but the
prosecutors attempted to introduce their statements to the police.
In both cases, the defendants objected, arguing that the
statements violated the Confrontation Clause of the 6th
See Crawford v. Washington (541 U.S. 36 (2004))
In both cases, the Trial Judge allowed the statements to
The Trial Courts convicted both defendants.† They
The Appellate Courts affirmed.† The defendants appealed.
The US Supreme Court combined both cases.
The US Supreme Court affirmed Davis' conviction, but
The US Supreme Court found that questioning in Davis was not "interrogation" and the statements were not
"testimonial."† Questioning in Hammon was
"interrogation" and the statements were
"Statements are nontestimonial when made in the
course of police interrogation under circumstances objectively
indicating that the primary purpose of the interrogation is to enable
police assistance to meet an ongoing emergency.† They are testimonial
when the circumstances objectively indicate that there is no such
ongoing emergency, and that the primary purpose of the interrogation is
to establish or prove past events potentially relevant to later criminal
Questioning designed "to resolve the present
emergency, rather than simply to learn . . . what had happened in the
past" is not likely to elicit "testimonial" statements.
"[A] conversation which begins as an interrogation
to determine the need for emergency assistance . . . [may] evolve into