Forfeiture by Wrongdoing

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Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, a statement made by a declarant that normally qualifies as hearsay and would therefore not be admissible can be admitted under the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception to the hearsay rule. Forfeiture by wrongdoing occurs when a party intentionally or wrongfully makes the declarant unavailable to testify. The party who wants hearsay evidence admitted under this exception must prove the opposing party’s wrongdoing by a preponderance of the evidence.


Forfeiture by wrongdoing is also an exception to the Sixth Amendment right of criminal defendants to confront the witnesses against them.