Review the following situations and evidence. In a 2-page paper, explain how you would respond to the situation or evidence. In your paper, list the hearsay exception(s) and any case law that supports your answer to the following situations or evidence.
Hearsay is “second-hand” information. It occurs when a witness testifies NOT about something they personally saw or heard, but testifies about something someone else told them or said they saw. Hearsay usually involves an attempt to get some crucial fact entered into evidence that cannot be entered into evidence by any other means.
The constitutional due process danger that this represents is that it deprives the other side of an opportunity to confront and cross-examine the “real” witness who originally saw or heard something. The confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment has never been interpreted so literally as to preclude hearsay evidence. Care must be taken to avoid hearsay from consisting of rumor, gossip, or scuttlebutt.
There are times when hearsay evidence is perhaps the right thing to do — as in cases where a young child has been molested — and there are times when hearsay evidence is the only thing to do — as in cases where the original witness has died or is unavailable.