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Name: People v. Kiney
Case #: C050727
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/30/2007

Statements of a defendant made when he represented himself at a prior trial qualify as an exception to the hearsay rule as a party admission pursuant to Evidence Code section 1220. Appellant, asserting his right per Faretta v. California (1975) 422 U.S. 806, represented himself in a drug case and during closing argument stated that although he possessed the methamphetamine, he did not possess it for sale. The conviction was reversed because the trial court denied a continuance request to prepare for trial. On retrial, the court admitted the closing statements as party admissions under section 1220 (the expert used them to reach his opinion that the drugs were possessed for sale). The court rejected appellant’s claims that: (1) use of the statements impaired the policies behind Faretta, as a defendant can represent himself without making incriminating statements; (2) that use of the statements could not be admitted as he was acting as his own counsel and statements of counsel are not evidence because these statements qualified as party admissions; (3) that use of the statements violated due process as they were made while defendant was acting as inadequate counsel as a result of the denial of the continuance.