Admissions by Silence of a Co-Defendant
In Nelson v. State, 748 So.2d 237 (Fla. 1999), the Court held that because the codefendant's statements were admitted as admissions by silence, there could be no Confrontation Clause violation.
The Court presented several factors that should be present to show that an acquiescence to the codefendant's statements did in fact occur.
These factors include the following:
The statement must have been heard by the party claimed to have acquiesced.
The statement must have been understood by [the defendant].
The subject matter of the statement is within the knowledge of the [defendant].
There were no physical or emotional impediments to the person responding.
The personal make-up of the speaker or his relationship to the party or event are not such as to make it unreasonable to expect a denial.
The statement itself must be such as would, if untrue, call for a denial under the circumstances.
See Nelson, 748 So.2d at 242 (quoting Privett v. State, 417 So.2d 805, 806 (Fla. 5th DCA 1982)).
The essential inquiry thus becomes whether a reasonable person would have denied the statements under the circumstances.