Brannen v. State

In Brannen v. State, 798 P.2d 337 (Alaska App. 1990), the defendant wished to introduce certain out-of-court statements that he made after the police began investigating him for sexually abusing a minor. These statements were apparently exculpatory (i.e., denials of sexual impropriety), and Brannen claimed that they were admissible because they demonstrated his state of mind. The Court rejected Brannen's "state of mind" argument with the following language: Evidence Rule 803(3) exempts hearsay statements that express a then-existing state of mind, emotion, sensation, or physical condition to prove the declarant's contemporaneous condition. Brannen relies on this exception. Yet Brannen's self-serving denials ... were not statements expressing a present condition, nor were they made spontaneously. Brannen had time to reflect on what he would say and a motive to fabricate before he made the statements. (Brannen, 798 P.2d at 340-41.)