evidence; hearsay; reform; rules; federal rules of evidence


The Federal Rules of Evidence (or “the Rules”) identify hearsay that is admissible, notwithstanding the classic hearsay prohibition, by delineating categories of hearsay statements that may be admitted into evidence. For example, “dying declarations” of now-unavailable declarants may be admitted in homicide prosecutions or civil cases. “Excited utterances” relating to a startling event also may be admitted for their truth. The purported justification for admitting certain categories of hearsay rests upon the inherent reliability of human statements uttered in certain contexts, as well as litigants’ need for crucial evidence to build cases.

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