dying declaration

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A dying declaration is defined as a statement made by a declarant, who is unavailable to testify in court (typically because of the declarant's death), who made the statement under a belief of certain or impending death. The statement must also relate to what the declarant believed to be the cause or circumstances of the declarant's impending death.

  • Additionally, a dying declaration is a type of hearsay which is an out-of-court statement.
  • Other general rules of admissibility also apply, such as the requirement that the declaration must be based on the declarant's actual knowledge.
  • The dying declaration may be used in civil law cases and criminal law cases.

For more on dying declarations, see this Indiana University Law Review article: Her Last Words: Dying Declarations and Modern Confrontation Jurisprudence (Orenstein)

See e.g.; People v. Bartelini, 285 N.Y. 433, 35 N.E.2d 29 (N.Y. 1941); People v. Cord, 157 Cal. 562, 108 P. 511 (Cal. 1910)

[Last updated in October of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team