Hoosier was arrested on suspicion of robbing a bank.
At trial, three witness positively identified Hoosier as
the bank robber. A fourth witness, Rodgers, testified that Hoosier told
him that he was going to rob the bank, and that after the robbery
Hoosier's girlfriend bragged to him about how much money they had.
Hoosier objected on the grounds that out of court
statements made by his girlfriend were not admissible because they were hearsay.
The Trial Judge allowed the evidence.
Hoosier was convicted of bank robbery. He appealed.
The Appellate Court upheld the conviction.
The Appellate Court looked to FRE 801(d)(2)(B)
which basically says that an admission can be made by adopting or
acquiescing to the statements made by another.
Hoosier was in the room when his girlfriend was bragging
about the money. His silence was therefore legally an adoptive admission
that they had a lot of money.
Under FRE 801(d)(2), admissions made by a
party-opponent are not considered hearsay.
Of course, Hoosier could have argued that he didn't hear
the statement, or he was somehow prevented from speaking, or some other
argument. Had he prevailed, then his silence would not have been
considered an acceptance, and the girlfriend's statement would not have
been admissible as an admission.
It's important to have a good lawyer who can make good
Even if the testimony was admitted, Hoosier could have
made the same arguments to the jury in order to reduce the weight the
jury gave to the admission.