IL discusses “dropsy” and resolves it as a credibility question

Illinois discusses the issue of “dropsy,” but ends up resolving it as a credibility question. People v. Campbell, 2019 IL App (1st) 161640, 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 234 (Apr. 9, 2019):

[*P26] Of course, it is not enough for us to conclude that untruthful “dropsy” testimony exists; we also must be cognizant of the way courts have treated it. As we see it, there are essentially three categories of treatment of “dropsy” testimony. At one extreme, there are courts that decline to acknowledge at all that this type of testimony can be problematic. See Moore, 2014 IL App (1st) 110793-B ¶ 13 (assuming, but refusing to say, that the evidence of “dropsy” testimony “actually establishes a trend or problem”). At the other extreme, courts have issued wholesale condemnations of this type of testimony. See People v. Quinones, 61 A.D.2d 765, 402 N.Y.S.2d 196, 198 (N.Y. App. Div. 1978) (rejecting officer’s “dropsy” testimony “as a matter of law” where it has “all appearances of having been patently tailored to nullify constitutional objections”). But, the largest group of cases, including McMurty, sees “dropsy” testimony as a lurking saboteur of the fair administration of criminal justice while recognizing the testimony in each individual case must be evaluated for its own credibility. See, e.g., Contreras, 820 F.3d at 267 (“Skepticism, however, does not suffice to supersede the trial court’s credibility determination.” (Internal quotation marks omitted.)); Brunori, 578 A.2d at 142 n.6 (acknowledging criticism of “dropsy” testimony but declining “to depart from the long standing rule that witness credibility *** is within the province of the jury”); McMurty, 314 N.Y.S.2d at 197 (finding “[b]eyond any doubt” that the “dropsy” problem exists, but concluding that “judges must decide the cases that come before them”).

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