State v. Miller, 197 N.C. App. 78 (May. 19, 2009)

Trial judge was not required to view a DVD before ruling on a Rule 403 objection to portions of an interview of the defendant contained on it. Trial judge did not abuse his discretion by refusing to redact portions of the DVD. However, the court “encourage[d] trial courts to review the content of recorded interviews before publishing them to the jury to ensure that all out-of-court statements contained therein are either admissible for a valid nonhearsay purpose or as an exception to the hearsay rule in order to safeguard against an end-run around the evidentiary and constitutional proscriptions against the admission of hearsay.” The court also “remind[ed] trial courts that the questions police pose during suspect interviews may contain false accusations, inherently unreliable, unconfirmed or false statements, and inflammatory remarks that constitute legitimate points of inquiry during a police investigation, but that would otherwise be inadmissible in open court.” It continued: “[A]s such, the wholesale publication of a recording of a police interview to the jury, especially law enforcement’s investigatory questions, might very well violate the proscriptions against admitting hearsay or Rule 403. In such instances, trial courts would need to redact or exclude the problematic portions of law enforcement's investigatory questions/statements.”