Posted but not written by: Lou Sheehan
Originally Posted by Rasmus55 View Post
Also, the exception, under the FRE, is called “dying declarations”, not death confession. For this to apply, a person would have to believe that death was imminent; a matter of seconds away. Whether he died is actually irrelevant, it is his belief he will die that controls; more the merrier if he actually does die.
It’s been a few years since I took “law and evidence,” and I’m not a lawyer, but that’s what I recall as well about the Federal rules, and I would imagine state rules are similar. I’m not familiar with any laws that regards deathbed confessions as any being equivalent to sworn testimony, unless they actually do happen to be sworn testimony.
But, according to the FRE themselves, that only appears to apply to “causes or circumstances” surrounding the death:
Originally Posted by Federal Rules of Evidence – Rule 804(b)
(2) Statement under belief of impending death. In a prosecution for homicide or in a civil action or proceeding, a statement made by a declarant while believing that the declarant’s death was imminent, concerning the cause or circumstances of what the declarant believed to be impending death.
(ETA: Emphasis mine)
So it wouldn’t even apply if it were deathbed confession, because it has nothing to do with causes of death (IIRC, this rule is to allow in court statements to the effect of “Mr. X just shot me” made by the dying party to someone else). I wonder if there are other statutes regarding this.
And it wasn’t even a deathbed confession, so I suppose the issue is moot anyway.
[ My intention with my blog is to simply collect articles of interest to me for purposes of future reference. I do my best to indicate who has actually composed the articles. NONE of the articles have been written by me. – Louis Sheehan ]