CORE CRIMINAL LAW SUBJECTS: Evidence: Public Records


United States v. Taylor, 61 M.J. 157 (MRE 1005 provides that the contents of an official record may be proven by a copy if the copy is (1) certified as correct or attested to in accordance with MRE 902 (self-authentication), or (2) testified to be correct by a witness who has compared it with the original; the rule indicates a clear preference for these two methods, but also allows other evidence of the contents of a record to be given if the Government exercises reasonable diligence but is unable to obtain a copy that complies with the above requirements). 
(a copy of a declaration of desertion message did not qualify as an admissible copy under MRE 1005 where it was not certified or attested to, and the Government’s foundation witness, did not testify that she compared it with the original document).

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