dying declaration

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Dying Declaration

A statement by a person who is conscious and knows that death is imminent concerning what he or she believes to be the cause or circumstances of death that can be introduced into evidence during a trial in certain cases.

A dying declaration is considered credible and trustworthy evidence based upon the general belief that most people who know that they are about to die do not lie. As a result, it is an exception to the Hearsay rule, which prohibits the use of a statement made by someone other than the person who repeats it while testifying during a trial, because of its inherent untrustworthiness. If the person who made the dying declaration had the slightest hope of recovery, no matter how unreasonable, the statement is not admissible into evidence. A person who makes a dying declaration must, however, be competent at the time he or she makes a statement, otherwise, it is inadmissible.

A dying declaration is usually introduced by the prosecution, but can be used on behalf of the accused.

As a general rule, courts refuse to admit dying declarations in civil cases, even those for Wrongful Death, or in criminal actions for crimes other than the Homicide of the decedent.

State and Federal Rules of Evidence govern the use of dying declarations in their respective proceedings.

Further readings

Adelkoff, Sherri K. 1998. "Dialing 'M' for Murder: Analyzing the Admissibility of the Telephone Dying Declaration." Duquesne Law Review 36 (spring): 545–61.

Bernstein, Michelle A. 1997."Evidence—A Modern Application of Dying-Declaration Exception to Hearsay Rule." Suffolk University Law Review 30 (summer): 575–81.

dying declaration

n. the statement of a mortally injured person who is aware he/she is about to die, telling who caused the injury and possibly the circumstances ("Frankie shot me"). Although hearsay since the dead person cannot testify in person, it is admissible in homicide cases on the theory that a dying person has no reason not to tell the truth.

dying declaration

in the law of evidence, an exception to the hearsay rule in England whereby the oral or written statement of a dying person may be used in evidence at the trial of a person for his murder if he would have been a competent witness himself To be effective, the maker must have been in hopeless expectation of his death. Its basis is that the person being so near death is unlikely to lie when he is so soon to come before a higher authority.
References in periodicals archive ?
Later, in her dying declaration, she had accused Afridi of shooting her with the help of his brother and a friend.
The deceased, Asma, had named Mujahidullah as her killer in her dying declaration.
I've been around a long time, and I can only think of two to three times that I'm aware of in our agency that we've been able to get a dying declaration like that," Kelly told the (https://www.
Sandhya, in her dying declaration, told police that on Thursday he had met her and proposed to her.
His suicide notes may be likened to a dying declaration, or statements made by a person in anticipation of his or her impending death and who wants to make a clean breast of the things that bother his or her conscience.
Sharma also pointed out that neither the victim in her dying declaration, nor her male companion mentioned anything about an iron rod.
The injured Wahid Shah was shifted to DHQ hospital Daggar where he succumbed to injuries soon after recording his dying declaration to police, he confided.
The only letdown was Dot's dying declaration to DS Kate Fleming.
But in his dying declaration from the hospital bed, Singh accused influential minister Verma for his tragedy.
In an impassioned opening statement, Mr Emmerson told the inquiry: "When all of the open and closed evidence is considered together, Mr Litvinenko's dying declaration will be borne as true, that the trail of polonium traces lead not just from London to Moscow but directly to the door of Vladimir Putin and Mr Putin should be unmasked by this inquiry as a common criminal dressed up as a head of state.
Eline filed as an intervenor in Engelhardt's appeal case, detailing his final moments with his cellmate, including the priest's dying declaration.
After slapping me, they poured kerosene on me and set me on fire", Mustafa said in his dying declaration.