Thick as Thieves

 

Charge: murder of V on June 1 at the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

(1) At D's trial, D offers, through W, the statement of Joe (now dead), "I killed V." Is Joe's statement admissible? Under what circumstances?

(2) Suppose instead that D offers a letter signed by Joe, dated June 5, stating "I killed V." After objection and on voir dire the prosecution offers the coroner to testify that on June 5 Joe committed suicide. Is the letter admissible?

(3) Suppose instead that D offers, through W, Joe's statement, "D is not guilty of killing V." Admissible?

(4) Suppose instead that D offers, through W, Joe's statement, "Frank and I killed V. D did not have anything to do with it." Admissible?

(5) Suppose the prosecution offers, through W, Joe's statement, "D and I killed V." Admissible?

The Supreme Court has indicated that there are constitutional limitations on a state's application of the declaration against interest exception to the hearsay rule in criminal cases when the declaration is offered by the defendant. See Green v. Georgia, 442 U.S. 95 (1979). Where do these limits fall?


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