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HEARSAY DEFINITIONS & EXCEPTIONS RULE 801 Introduction Classic hearsay is an out-of-court statement made by someone who is not in court but another person is saying they "heard" it. If want to get something in over the "Hearsay" objection you have 2 options: Argue: 'its not hearsay" ie. use the definition Concede: it is hearsay but argue it falls under an Exception ie. admissible hearsay Trial of Sir Walter Raleigh The right to face your accuser partially underlies the basis for the hearsay rule One should be able to cross-examine one who speaks evidence relevant to the issue before the court The rule presumes that we should distrust statements which have been made out of court and are merely repeated in the courtroom w/o the proper opportunity to question the original speaker The primary reason for excluding hearsay is that the trier of fact has no adequate basis for evaluating the declarant's credibility, cause they are not subject to cross-exam Risks Associated w/ Hearsay Perception: (misperception) Recollection: (faulty memory) Narration: (ambiguity in the statements) Sincerity: (or insincerity on part of speaker) Trial Safeguards Cross-examination, oath & assessment of a witness's demeanor
Analysis Under the Rules Rule 801. Definitions
801(a) Statements. A "statement is (1) an oral or written assertion or (2) non-verbal conduct of a person, if it is intended by the person as an assertion Direct Assertions: the words used directly state the meaning that the speaker intends to convey Ex. "Jason took the candy from the jar" Conduct constituting assertion: some nonverbal conduct, ie pointing to id a suspect, is clearly the equivalent of words, assertive in nature, and to be regarded as a statement. 801(b) Declarant A declarant is a person who makes a statement Computers (or automated devices) which generate info automatically are not declarants. Animal Some cts say the police or other persons testimony about a dogs id is not hearsay cause that person can be cross-examined & the dogs abilities are only competent when combined w/ human testimony Others disagree Machine The key to if hearsay is implicated w/ machines is found in how the info is created If automated, it unlikely hearsay But a computer printout may be hearsay if the data was entered by a person
801(c) Hearsay Hearsay is statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, OFFERED INTO EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER ASSERTED. Break into parts: 1st Hearsay is a Statement If not a statement, not hearsay
2nd the statement must be one made out-of-court
Still counts if declarant is restating in court something he or she said out of court
The statement must be offered into evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in that statement Ask is there a match btwn what the party offering the evidence seeks to prove & what the declarant asserted in the statement?
Utterances & Conduct that Are Not Hearsay Typical Purposes being offered other than for truth of assertion: Impeachment of a witness; Arises when a witness has made a statement & now, on the stand, changes their story. Idea is to challenge their credibility Purpose is to show the conflict btwn the 2 statements, not to assert the truth in either one Ex. testify light was red- but out of court said was green, its not introduced to prove light was green, but rather to show not credible Effect on the listener; McClure v. State "whenever an utterance is offered to show the state of mind which ensued in another person in consequence of the utterance, it is obvious that no assertive or testimonial use is to be made of it, & the utterance is therefore admissible, so far as the hearsay rule is concerned. Ie. Inflict emotional stress- statement is integral part and so not hearsay Verbal acts; Words that constitute a contract btwn parties, defamatory statements, &
statements which may constitute a crime or change someones legal status Hanson v. Johnson Verbal act of pointing for purposes of showing ownership of property The words w/pointing "here is your corn" were the verbal acts, the very fact needed to be proved They give legal significance to conduct, accompany conduct Verbal objects;
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