Anchorage, AK asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Alaska

Q: Rule 403 Exluding Relevant Evidence

Senerio: A and B trespass. C asks them to leave and they refuse. C leaves and returns with D who has a shotgun. D tells A and B to leave and they do but file a false report saying D pointed gun at them. During trial A and B are allowed to take the stand and state what D said and did (all of which were not true). C takes the stand and is NOT allowed to state anything A and B said under the hearsay rule even though C was present. Why isn't C allowed to state what occured? Is that legal? Is ABCD were all present how can the hearsay rule apply to any one of them?

1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: First, I disagree that C's offered testimony should have been excluded as hearsay. What A & B may have said was not offered (I suspect) for the truth of what they said, but rather for what they said. If, for example, A (according to C) said "I am going to get my gun and kill you, C", the statement wouldn't be probative as to whether A would later kill C, but rather whether A said the threat.

It could, however, have been excluded as being irrelevant. Without the entire transcript of the trial, it is difficult to say whether the court was correct to exclude it on that basis.

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