Baker v. State

35 Md.App. 593 (1977).

One-Sentence Takeaway: A testifying witness can be asked to review a document to refresh his/her memory even if the document was not prepared by the witness.

Summary:  While a police officer was testifying, the defense counsel asked the officer to review a police report to refresh his memory.  The trial curt did not allow the officer to review the policy report because the report was prepared by another officer.

The appellate court reversed the ruling of the trial court and held that the officer should have been permitted to review the police report.  The court reasoned that the police report was not being admitted into evidence.  Rather, it was merely to be used to refresh the memory of the testifying officer.  The trial court confused present memory revived with past recollection recorded.  In the latter, much higher standards apply.  But in the former, the report is merely being used as a stimulus and the officer is not admitting the truth of what is included in the report.

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