Knapp v. Martone, a Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona

823 P.2d 685 (1992)

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Knapp v. Martone, a Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona

Arizona Supreme Court
823 P.2d 685 (1992)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

John Knapp was convicted of murdering his two young children. John claimed that he confessed to protect his wife, Linda Knapp (plaintiff). John was granted a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. The case was dismissed, and John was re-charged with murder. The state added an alternative allegation charging John as an accessory and, in arguments before the trial court, acknowledged that Linda was John’s coconspirator. Linda received a grant of immunity in exchange for her testimony and was never charged with a crime. John sought to depose Linda. Linda objected to being deposed, arguing that as the mother of the two murdered children, she was a victim under the Arizona Constitution’s victims’ bill of rights and had the right to refuse to be deposed. The trial court found that Linda was not a victim within the definition of the victims’ bill of rights and ordered that she submit to a deposition. The court reasoned that it could not have been the intent of the drafters of the victims’-rights amendment to include within the definition of victim someone who was or could be a suspect in the case. The court of appeals upheld the trial court’s decision. Linda filed a special action in the Arizona Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moeller, J.)

Dissent (Feldman, J.)

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