Comments on Proposed Amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(A) (October 2017)

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers opposes the proposed amendment to Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(1)(A). The amendment would permit the substantive use of unsworn and presumptively unreliable out-of-court statements. The amendment would thus mark a sharp break with other exceptions to the hearsay rule, which generally require circumstantial assurances of reliability. There is no identified need that would justify such a striking impingement on the trial's truth-seeking function.



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