This note will explore the standards for granting new trials within the child recantation setting. It will argue that insistence on respecting the evidentiary statements of children is contrary to common sense and current research. As a result, the standards for new trial ought to be rethought. Part II will analyze the two prevalent standards used by courts to weigh the merit of a new trial motion and will show why both standards present a nearly insurmountable hurdle for a movant to satisfy. Part III will explore the special issues that confront a court each time a young "victim" testifies. It will demonstrate why reviewing courts need to be less deferential to the trial court's factual determinations when child recantation evidence is presented. Part IV will analyze the judicial inference which courts are "permitted" to make when dealing with recantation evidence. Finally, Part V will propose an alternative to current practices that seeks to strike a more even balance between the competing interests of the defendant and society.
Christopher J. Sinnott,
When Defendant Becomes the Victim: A Child's Recantation as Newly Discovered Evidence,
41 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol41/iss3/7