The Corner

Picky Evidence Law Correction

Peter Robinson writes:

“[I]t’s one thing for vague rumors to circulate, another

for the L. A. Times to publish dates, descriptions, and, in several

cases, the names of victims. What was once hearsay is now

fact.”

No, what was once hearsay, is still hearsay–though some of which at

least has now been admitted to be true by Arnold. A statement can be

perfectly true and still be hearsay. Hearsay is an ‘out of court

statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.’ All these

statements, some of which are unattributed, are still out of court

(though now on the record) and even if you shift the hearsay concept to

newspapers rather than courts, it is still not testimony under oath and

subject to cross examination (a main function of having a hearsay rule).

Sorry Peter, its just my former prosecutor, and evidence law professor,

hormones kicking in. Besides, impressionable law students may be

reading the Corner.

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