Opening the Door
• Generally, when a defendant injects an issue into the trial, he opens the door to otherwise inadmissible evidence.
• Otherwise inadmissible evidence may be admitted where the defendant opens the door to questioning on that evidence.
• Opening the door refers to the principle that where one party introduces evidence of a particular fact, the opposing party is entitled to introduce evidence in explanation or rebuttal thereof, even though the rebuttal evidence otherwise would have been inadmissible.
• “‘In order to open the door, the evidence relied upon must leave the trier of fact with a false or misleading impression of the facts related.’”
Cameron v. State, 22 N.E.3d 588, 593 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014)(quoting Ludack v. State, 967 N.E.2d 41, 46 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), trans. denied(quoting Bryant v. State, 802 N.E.2d 486, 500 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), trans. denied))
See Schmidt v. State, 816 N.E.2d 925, 946 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), reh’g denied, trans. denied(citing Walker v. Cuppett, 808 N.E.2d 85, 98 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004))(“A party may ‘open the door’ to otherwise inadmissible evidence by presenting similar evidence that leaves the trier of fact with a false or misleading impression of the facts related.”)
• Although evidence of a defendant's post-Miranda silence is generally not admissible, the defendant may open the door to its admission.
• For more information about Miranda warnings, please review Miranda warnings.
• Evidence that is otherwise inadmissible under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b) may become admissible where the defendant “opens the door” to questioning on that evidence.
See, e.g., Thompson v. State, 15 N.E.3d 1097, 1102 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied(citing Wickizer v. State, 626 N.E.2d 795, 799 (Ind. 1993))(“The intent exception under Evidence Rule 404(b) is available when a defendant goes beyond merely denying the charged culpability and alleges a particular contrary intent, whether in opening statement, by cross-examination of the State's witnesses, or by presentation in the defendant's own case-in-chief. The State may respond by offering evidence of prior crimes, wrongs, or acts to the extent genuinely relevant to prove the defendant's intent at the time of the charged offenses.”)
• For more information about Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b), please review Crimes, Wrongs, or Other Acts.
• [W]hat might otherwise be inadmissible hearsay evidence “may become admissible where the defendant ‘opens the door’ to questioning on that evidence.”
• For more information on hearsay, please review Hearsay.
• “The State may introduce evidence that might otherwise be a violation of the defendant's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if the State's evidence is a fair response to evidence elicited by the defendant.”
• For more information about the privilege against self-incrimination, please review Privilege Against Self-Incrimination.
• We thus align ourselves with those jurisdictions that permit testimony about the signs of coaching and whether a child exhibited such signs or has or has not been coached, provided the defendant has opened the door to such testimony.
• For more information about impeaching the credibility of witnesses, please review Credibility.
• A plea of insanity opens the door for the admission of testimony about the defendant’s entire life.
• For more information about the insanity defense, please review Insanity.