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In re Mississippi Rules of Evidence

Supreme Court of Mississippi

May 15, 2017

IN RE: MISSISSIPPI RULES OF EVIDENCE

         Serial: 212468

          EN BANC ORDER

          JAMES W. KITCHENS, JUSTICE

         On December 15, 2016, by unanimous order of the Court, the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure were adopted. The Court's en banc order provided that this new body of rules take effect July 1, 2017, and adjudicated that the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure ". . . shall govern the procedure in all criminal proceedings in the Circuit, County, Justice and Municipal Courts of this State."

         Inasmuch as said Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure have the effect of altering, duplicating, supplementing and/or replacing certain of the existing provisions of Mississippi's Rules of Evidence, the Court finds and adjudicates that said Rules of Evidence should be, and they hereby are, amended in accordance with Exhibit A, which by reference is incorporated in and made a part of this order. Such amendments shall take effect on July 1, 2017.

         The Clerk of this Court shall spread this order and the amended rules attached hereto on the minutes of the Court, and the Clerk shall provide a certified copy thereof to West Publishing Company for publication in a forthcoming edition of the Southern Reporter, Mississippi Cases, which is the official publication of the decisions of this Court, and in the next edition of the Mississippi Rules of Court.

         SO ORDERED.

         ALL JUSTICES AGREE.

         EXHIBIT A

         MISSISSIPPI RULES OF EVIDENCE Rule 410. Pleas, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements . . .

         Advisory Committee Note

         The language of Rule 410 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Evidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. The Rule has been restructured, adding subdivisions. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.

         Under existing Mississippi law, a plea of nolo contendere by a defendant is not admissible against him later in either a civil case or a criminal case. See Keys v. State, 312 So.2d 7 (Miss. 1975). (A plea of nolo contendere is only available in misdemeanor cases). Rule 410 is consistent with Mississippi law by rendering inadmissible both guilty pleas which are withdrawn and statements made in a judicial proceeding regarding a plea of guilty which is withdrawn or a plea of nolo contendere. See Sanders v. State, 435 So.2d 1177 (Miss. 1983) and Rule 3.03(6), Uniform Criminal Rules of Circuit Court Practice MRCrP 15.4.

         The exceptions to this rule of inadmissibility are limited. The first exception covers situations in which the defendant testifies at trial that the prosecutor or police made a statement expressing doubt as to defendant's guilt. In such an instance, the state would be able to introduce the defendant's statement or plea to rebut his testimony.

         ["Advisory Committee Note" substituted for "Comment, " effective June 16, 2016; amended July 1, 2016, to ...


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