State v. Mukhtaar

In State v. Mukhtaar, 253 Conn. 280, 305-306, 750 A.2d 1059 (2000) the Court stated: "Once the proponent of a prior inconsistent statement has established that the statement satisfies the requirements of Whelan, that statement, like statements satisfying the requirements of other hearsay exceptions, is presumptively admissible. Of course, a prior inconsistent statement that fulfills the Whelan requirements may have been made under circumstances so unduly coercive or extreme as to grievously undermine the reliability generally inherent in such a statement, so as to render it, in effect, not that of the witness. In such circumstances, the trial court must act as a gatekeeper to ensure that the statement does not go to the jury for substantive purposes. We emphasize, however, that the linchpin of admissibility is reliability: the statement may be excluded as substantive evidence only if the trial court is persuaded, in light of the circumstances under which the statement was made, that the statement is so untrustworthy that its admission into evidence would subvert the fairness of the fact-finding process. In the absence of such a showing by the party seeking to exclude a statement that meets the Whelan criteria, the statement is admissible as substantive evidence; like all other evidence, its credibility is grist for the cross-examination mill. Thus, because the requirements that we established in Whelan provide a significant assurance of reliability, it will be the highly unusual case in which a statement that meets the Whelan requirements nevertheless must be kept from the jury." State v. Mukhtaar, supra, 253 Conn. at 306-307.