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prior consistent statement Archives

Improperly Admitted Prior Consistent Statement Vacates Conviction

A prior consistent statement usually refers to an extrajudicial statement by a witness which is in agreement with something to which that witness has testified in court. Under evidentiary rules in Tennessee courts (the federal court rule on this subject is different), prior consistent statements of witnesses are generally not admissible. The reasoning for this is that finders of fact in judicial proceedings should primarily consider what the witness has said in court rather than considering the contents of out of court statements. But prior consistent statements may be used to bolster credibility if the credibility of the witness' statement is attacked in court. Even in that case, the statement should only be considered for purposes of evaluating the credibility of the in court testimony.

Improperly Admitted Prior Consistent Statement Vacates Conviction

A prior consistent statement usually refers to an extrajudicial statement by a witness which is in agreement with something to which that witness has testified in court. Under evidentiary rules in Tennessee courts (the federal court rule on this subject is different), prior consistent statements of witnesses are generally not admissible. The reasoning for this is that finders of fact in judicial proceedings should primarily consider what the witness has said in court rather than considering the contents of out of court statements. But prior consistent statements may be used to bolster credibility if the credibility of the witness' statement is attacked in court. Even in that case, the statement should only be considered for purposes of evaluating the credibility of the in court testimony.

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