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Davis v. Washington

United States Supreme Court
547 U.S. 813 (2006)



[Editor’s note: This case was decided along with Hammon v. Indiana] In Davis v. Washington, a 911 operator answered a call from Michelle McCottry, who was in the midst of a physical fight with her boyfriend, Adrian Davis (defendant). McCottry was frantic and in response to the 911 operator’s questions, identified Davis as the person who was beating her. Davis was charged with felony violation of a domestic no-contact order. At trial, the recording of the 911 call was admitted into evidence, over Davis’s objections. The jury convicted Davis, and he appealed. The lower appellate court and the Washington Supreme Court affirmed. In Hammon v. Indiana, police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the home of Amy and Hershel Hammon (defendant). Amy Hammon greeted them, looking frightened but denying that anything was the matter. She gave them permission to enter the house, whereupon the police saw a broken furnace. One of the police officers remained with Hershel Hammon while the other officer questioned Amy Hammon in the living room. In response to the officer’s questions, Amy Hammon wrote a statement that admitted that Hammon had broken the furnace, shoved her down into the broken glass, hit her, and threw her down. Hammon was charged with domestic battery and violating his probation. Amy Hammon did not appear at trial. The prosecution called the officer who had spoken with Amy Hammon to testify as to what she had said to him and to authenticate her affidavit. Hammon was convicted, and the conviction was affirmed by the lower appellate court and the Indiana Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in both cases.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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