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HB 2 - Amends the Admissibility of Certain Witness Statements - Missouri Key Vote

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Title: Amends the Admissibility of Certain Witness Statements

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the admissibility of certain witness statements.

Highlights:

 

  • Authorizes the attorney general to prosecute in a city not within a county if (Sec. A):

    • A written request of the attorney general has been made by the chief law enforcement officer of the investigative agency for the alleged criminal offense;

    • 90 days or more have passed since the alleged commission of a violation of section 565.020 or 565.021; and 

    • A complaint, information, or indictment charging a violation of sections 565.020 or 565.021 has not been filed or has been filed and was dismissed.   

  • Authorizes the attorney general to commence and prosecute any alleged violation of section 565.020 or 565.021 and any additional violation that was part of the same course of conduct as the violation of section 565.020 or 565.021 by filing a complaint, information, or indictment (Sec. A). 

  • Requires the circuit attorney to transmit to the attorney general all materials collected or prepared related to the criminal violation within 15 days of the attorney general commencing prosecution under this section (Sec. A). 

  • Prohibits the circuit attorney from commencing, prosecuting, dismissing, or otherwise affecting any criminal action if the attorney general commences and prosecutes an action under this section (Sec. A).

  • Authorizes the attorney general to appear in person or by appointing their assistant attorneys general to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties in respect to such actions or proceedings in which a circuit attorney would be authorized or required to exercise or perform (Sec. A).

  • Requires the attorney general, upon any conviction pursuant to this section, to have the exclusive authority to represent the state in all post-conviction relief proceedings (Sec. A).

  • Specifies that these provisions apply to criminal offenses occurring before or after the effective date of this section and that these provisions expire on August 31, 2023 (Sec. A).

  • Authorizes witness statements that are otherwise not admissible, to be admissible in evidence in a criminal proceeding as substantive evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted if, after a hearing, the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that (Sec. A): 

    • The defendant engaged in or acquiesced to wrongdoing with the purpose of causing the unavailability of the witness;

    • The wrongdoing in which the defendant engaged or acquiesced has caused the unavailability of the witness;

    • The state exercised due diligence to secure by a subpoena or other means the attendance of the witness at the proceeding, or the witness is unavailable because the defendant caused the death of the witness; and 

    • The witness fails to appear at the proceeding.

  • Specifies that in a jury trial, the hearing and finding to determine the admissibility of the statement will be held and found outside the presence of the jury before the case is submitted to the jury (Sec. A).

Title: Amends the Admissibility of Certain Witness Statements

Title: Amends the Admissibility of Certain Witness Statements

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