from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Meenu Sasser, Judge; L.T. Case No.
P. Ryan, Regional Counsel, and Richard G. Bartmon, Assistant
Regional Counsel, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil
Regional Counsel, Fourth District, West Palm Beach, for
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Allen R. Geesey,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
ON MOTION FOR REHEARING
the motion for rehearing, but write to distinguish a recent
Florida Supreme Court case and to further discuss the
application of section 90.108(1), Florida Statutes (2015).
after our panel opinion issued, the Florida Supreme Court
released Tundidor v. State, No. SC14-2276 (Fla. Apr.
27, 2017), where it approved a trial court's ruling
allowing the introduction of a witness's deposition
testimony contemporaneously with that same witness's
testimony from an earlier, separate Arthur hearing.
The court explained the rule of completeness "is not
limited to situations where statements are taken out of
context, " and that the plain language of section 90.108
allows a party to seek the introduction of other statements
when "fairness" requires that those statements be
considered contemporaneously with other statements.
Id. at *7.
Appellant relies on Tundidor to argue that his
post-arrest exculpatory statement to a detective should have
been introduced contemporaneously with the controlled call
between appellant and the victim.
reaffirm our holding that because appellant's post-arrest
statement neither explained nor clarified the controlled
call, the introduction of the controlled call, when viewed in
isolation, did not create a misleading impression. Fairness
thus did not require the contemporaneous introduction of the
post-arrest exculpatory statement.
Florida's rule of completeness, originally enacted in
When a writing or recorded statement or part thereof is
introduced by a party, an adverse party may require him or
her at that time to introduce any other part or any other
writing or recorded statement that in fairness ought to be
§ 90.108(1), Fla. Stat. (2015). The federal rule is
similar. See Fed. R. Evid. 106 ("If a party
introduces all or part of a writing or recorded statement, an
adverse party may require the introduction, at that time, of
any other part--or any other writing or recorded
statement--that in fairness ought to be considered at the
the section 90.108(1) rule of completeness, "once a
party 'opens the door' by introducing part of a
statement, the opposing party is entitled to
contemporaneously bring out the remainder of the statement in
the interest of fairness." Larzelere v. State,
676 So.2d 394, 401-02 (Fla. 1996).
origins of the rule go back to the sixteenth century and the
focus was on different parts of the same writing or
statement. See Barbara E. Bergman & Nancy
Hollander, Wharton's Criminal Evidence §
4:10 (15th ed. 1997). Lord Chief Justice Charles Abbott
recognized the danger in admitting only a portion of a
conversation in evidence, explaining "one part taken by
itself may bear a very different construction and have a very
different tendency to what would be produced if the whole
were heard, for one part of a conversation will frequently
serve to qualify and to explain the other." Id.
(quoting Thomson v. Austen, 2 Dowl. & R. 358,
"classic example of the possibilities of
distortion" when a portion of a statement is omitted is
where one mentions only the last phrase of the bible quote,
"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."
McCormick on Evidence § 56 (Kenneth S. Broun,
et al. eds., 6th ed. 2006) (citing 7 John H. Wigmore,
Evidence in Trials at Common Law § 2094
(Chadbourn rev. 1978)). Quoting the Bible as saying
"there is no God, " would "be a misleading
half-truth because it divorces the quotation from its
context." Id. Thus, the purpose of the rule of
completeness "is to ensure that a ...