TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: April 4, 2012
RE: Rule 410, N.D.R.Ev., Pleas, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements
Form and style amendments to Rule 410 consistent with the 2011 federal amendments are proposed. The amendments are not necessarily intended to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
Under the existing rule, use of statements from plea discussions is allowed for impeachment purposes. This language was based on the original federal rule proposal, which never took effect because Congress amended it in 1975. Under Congress's amendments, use of plea discussion for impeachment is prohibited. Instead, plea discussions can be admitted when fairness requires, such as when the defendant has introduced a statement from a plea discussion and the opposing party wants to rebut it with another statement from the plea discussion.
The federal language is included in the proposal for discussion purposes. If the Committee wants to retain the existing North Dakota approach, paragraph (b)(1) can be amended to read: "for impeachment purposes."