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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 142303 Find in a Library
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(May-July 1993)  Pages:5-6,34-39
Author(s): R C Phillips
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 8
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To make their cases as easy to prosecute as possible, with a minimum of plea bargaining, lost evidence, or dismissed charges, police officers need to understand the hearsay rule and its potential impact on the case.
Abstract: Hearsay evidence consists of statements made out of court by someone other than the witness, which are offered by the prosecution as a means of corroborating in-court testimony. Historically, hearsay has not been admitted as evidence because the statements are not made under oath, the adverse party has no opportunity to cross-examine the person who made the statement, and the jury cannot observe the declarant's demeanor while he makes the statement. Out-of-court statements are not considered hearsay when the fact in controversy is whether something was said or done, rather than whether these things are true or false. A statement may be admitted as non hearsay if it pertains to a mental state or attitude of the person who heard it or read it. There are also several exceptions to the hearsay rule: party admissions and defendant's confession, adoptive admissions, third-party admissions, recorded hearsay statements by child sexual abuse victims, and the Aranda situation in which two or more persons are arrested and not all of them confess. Other exemptions which may be admitted as evidence: admissions of a co- conspirator, prior inconsistent and consistent statements, past recollections recorded, prior identification, spontaneous statements, contemporaneous statements, dying declarations, statements of existing or pre-existing state of mind, business and official records, prior testimony, and character evidence. 102 notes
Main Term(s): Hearsay evidence; Rules of evidence
Index Term(s): Police legal training
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