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Name: People v. Hudson
Case #: C059154
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/14/2009

CALCRIM No. 318, directing the jury on how to treat out-of-court statements, does not require the jury to find the earlier statement true and does not prevent the jury from using the evidence of a prior out-of-court statement as evidence the information in the statement is false. Appellant was prosecuted for kidnapping. The victim testified at trial and contradicted statements she had given a friend and the police. Pursuant to CALCRIM No. 318, the jury was instructed that it may reject in-court testimony if it determines out-of-court statements to be true. By using the word “may.” the instruction does not require the jury to find the out-of-court statement true, although it allows it to do so. As such, it does not lessen the prosecution’s standard of proof by compelling the jury to accept the out-of-court statement as true. When CALCRIM No. 318, is given in conjunction with CALCRIM No. 226 (how to evaluate witness testimony), and CALCRIM. No. 220 (reasonable doubt), as it was here, it does not result in a lessening of the prosecution’s burden by elevating out-of-court statements to unquestionable reliability.