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Posts tagged "prior consistent statement"

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.

Evidence of a Prior Consistent Statement is Sometimes Admissible

In a criminal trial, testimonial evidence from witnesses is presented by the witness' live testimony at trial, subject to cross-examination by the opposing party. Generally, a prior (out of court) statement of a witness consistent with the witness testimony is not admissible to bolster the credibility of the testimony. There are exceptions to this rule though. If an opposing party challenges the testimony by suggesting it was recently fabricated, deliberately false, or inconsistent with a prior statement of the witness, then a prior (out of court) consistent statement may be introduced. This occurred in the recent case of State v. Beu, E2012-00176-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-20-2012).

Evidence of a Prior Consistent Statement is Sometimes Admissible

In a criminal trial, testimonial evidence from witnesses is presented by the witness' live testimony at trial, subject to cross-examination by the opposing party. Generally, a prior (out of court) statement of a witness consistent with the witness testimony is not admissible to bolster the credibility of the testimony. There are exceptions to this rule though. If an opposing party challenges the testimony by suggesting it was recently fabricated, deliberately false, or inconsistent with a prior statement of the witness, then a prior (out of court) consistent statement may be introduced. This occurred in the recent case of State v. Beu, E2012-00176-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-20-2012).

Evidence of a Prior Consistent Statement is Sometimes Admissible

In a criminal trial, testimonial evidence from witnesses is presented by the witness' live testimony at trial, subject to cross-examination by the opposing party. Generally, a prior (out of court) statement of a witness consistent with the witness testimony is not admissible to bolster the credibility of the testimony. There are exceptions to this rule though. If an opposing party challenges the testimony by suggesting it was recently fabricated, deliberately false, or inconsistent with a prior statement of the witness, then a prior (out of court) consistent statement may be introduced. This occurred in the recent case of State v. Beu, E2012-00176-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-20-2012).

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