State v. Jones
The protections afforded by the confrontation clause of the Connecticut constitution do not extend beyond those afforded by the federal constitution. In connection with an attempted stop of a motor vehicle that ran over an officer's foot while fleeing the scene, William Jones was convicted, following a jury trial, of assault of a police officer and increasing the speed of a motor vehicle in an attempt to escape or elude a police officer. Jones appealed claiming, first, that the court abused its discretion and violated Practice Book §42-23(a)(2) by not submitting a video exhibit to the jury in the deliberation room. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the jury to view a video recording from the dashboard of the police cruiser of the attempted stop only in the courtroom during jury deliberations. The court explained to defense counsel it had no device to play the video in the jury room. The jury viewed the video multiple times during trial and reached a verdict with less than an hour of deliberation and without asking to replay the video. The video was "submitted" to the jury as required by Practice Book §42-23. The court's instruction that the jury could view the video in the courtroom provided a means of presenting the video to the jury for its consideration, and, therefore, fell within the ordinary meaning of "submit." The defendant's right to confront a witness against him pursuant to the sixth amendment was not violated, as claimed. There existed no legal basis to suggest that our state constitution provided the defendant any broader protection to confront a witness against him. The witness, the physician who treated the officer for the foot injury, was unavailable. The director of the relevant emergency room, a physician, testified instead and read from the medical records, entered into evidence under the business record exception to the hearsay rule without objection. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that medical records do not fall within the definition of testimonial statements under its 2004 decision in Crawford v. Washington. The Court's 2011 decisions in Bullcoming v. New Mexico and Michigan v. Bryant do not stand for the principle that medical records should be treated like forensic reports, as claimed.