State v. Whelan
In State v. Whelan, 200 Conn. 743, 513 A.2d 86, cert. denied, 479 U.S. 994, 107 S. Ct. 597, 93 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1986) the Court adopted a rule allowing for "the substantive use of prior written inconsistent statements, signed by the declarant, who has personal knowledge of the facts stated, when the declarant testifies at trial and is subject to cross-examination."
The Supreme Court deemed this type of prior statement to be an exception to the rule against hearsay under such circumstances.
The Supreme Court noted that this rule will afford a jury in such a case the opportunity to assess a witness' credibility after the witness is confronted with an alleged prior inconsistent statement.
The Court reasoned, given the opportunity for meaningful cross-examination of such a witness, the witness "will be forced either to explain the discrepancies between the earlier statements and his present testimony, or to deny that the earlier statement was made at all." 200 Conn. at 750.
The Court adopted "a rule allowing the substantive use of prior written inconsistent statements, signed by the declarant, who has personal knowledge of the facts stated, when the declarant testifies at trial and is subject to cross- examination." Id.
The Court reasoned that "the jury can . . . determine whether to believe the present testimony, the prior statement, or neither. Moreover, prior statements are, necessarily, made closer to the event in question, when memories are fresher and when there is less likelihood that the statement is the product of corruption, false suggestion, intimidation or appeals to sympathy." Id., at 750.