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Name: People v. Cage
Case #: E034242
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/15/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 10/13/04: S127344

Neither an assault victim’s statements to the doctor who treated him for his injuries, nor his statement to a police officer engaged in informal fact gathering constitute testimonial evidence under Crawford v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1354. Referring to the Crawford decision as “a paradigm shift in confrontation clause analysis,” the court of appeal nonetheless held that because the doctor to whom the victim made his statements “was not performing any function remotely resembling that of a Tudor, Stuart, or Hanoverian justice of the peace,” the framers of the constitution could not have intended to treat that statement as testimonial for purposes of the Sixth Amendment. Likewise, the court held that the framers would not have treated the victim’s statement to police at the hospital as the functional equivalent of a testimonial proceeding. Although the court did find that the victim’s later formal statement taken at the police station was “a classic station-house interview” requiring suppression under Crawford, the court found that given the other evidence presented at trial, introduction of that statement was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.