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State v. Watson

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Citation Edit

State v. Watson, 192 Neb. 44, 218 N.W.2d 904 (1974) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

The defendant was convicted of passing an insufficient funds check with the intent to defraud. The State introduced a computer printout of the rejected transaction. When the State's witness attempted to lay a foundation on the accuracy of the computer system, the defendant objected. The objection was sustained, but the evidence was nevertheless admitted. The defendant assigned the admission of that evidence as prejudicial error.

State Supreme Court Proceedings Edit

The court determined that the purpose of the Nebraska Business Records Act[1] was to "Permit admission of systematically entered records without the necessity of identifying, locating, and producing as witnesses the individuals who made entries in the records in the regular course of business . . . .”[2] It held that the "statute intended to bring realities of business and professional practice into the courtroom and the statute should not be interpreted narrowly to destroy its obvious usefulness.”[3]

The court concluded that the defendant's objection was erroneously sustained. Since the defendant asked no questions of the State's witness concerning the accuracy of the system, the court ruled that he could not complain about the lack of proper foundation which he succeeded in keeping out of evidence. The judgment was affirmed.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-12, 109.
  2. 192 Neb. at 46, 218 N.W.2d at 906.
  3. Id.

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