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