An 18-year-old woman was decapitated when she drove her father's sports car into the side of a concrete toll booth in California. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) secured the scene and took photographs. It was so horrific that the local coroner did not allow the parents to identify the body.
Judge Posner in the 7th Circuit, widely regarded as one of the more thoughtful judges, believes that "the 'hearsay rule' is too complex as well as being archaic." In U.S. v. Boyce, Boyce was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was convicted based, in part, on the 911 call that his girlfriend, Portis, made claiming Boyce had just hit her, was going crazy and had a gun. In jail, Boyce wrote Portis trying to get her to recant and say she lied because she was jealous. Apparently neither the prosecution nor Boyce could get Portis to testify at trial, and the 911 call recording and transcript were admitted into evidence under the "present sense impression" and "excited utterance" exceptions to the hearsay rule.
In Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of America v. The Netherlands Ins. Co., the Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled on several significant insurance coverage issues, including whether an insurer has standing to pursue a declaratory judgment ruling on behalf of its insured against another insurer as long as it is "supported by sufficient controversy so as to not amount to an advisory opinion." Travelers' claim that it was bearing more than its share of the mutual insured's defense costs presented a sufficient controversy. The underlying action involved alleged continuous water damage over several policy periods.