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NCJ Number: 141823 Find in a Library
Title: In Search of the Reliable Conspirator: A Proposed Amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E)
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1993)  Pages:337-372
Author(s): R B Humphreys
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 36
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E), which exempts statements by co-conspirators from the general prohibition against hearsay, allows co-conspirator declarations to be treated as party admissions, yet exempts them from many of the safeguards that ensure the reliability of other hearsay declarations. Because the co-conspirator exception is overly exclusive, the rule should be revised so that it can be used to screen out untrustworthy evidence.
Abstract: This article discusses the reliability aspects of the co- conspiratory hearsay exception and discusses the vicarious admissions doctrine that has traditionally provided the foundation for the co-conspirator exception. The author notes that the conspiratorial relationship does not ensure reliability, that the requirements of the exemption do not screen out unreliable statements, and that conspirators can be trusted to speak truthfully when inaccuracy would thwart the objectives of their conspiracy. A revised rule should parallel the business records exception, which admits records kept in the regular course of business. Conspirator hearsay should never replace in-court testimony, but should be admitted only when courtroom confrontation of the declarant proves impossible. The article examines the procedural requirements for establishing the co-conspirator exception and discussing some the landmark court rulings in this area. 181 notes
Main Term(s): Conspiracy; Hearsay evidence
Index Term(s): Rules of evidence
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