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Hearsay Testimony

Ministers may be barred from testifying about statements made to them out of court.

Texas
State:
Key point. Ministers may be barred from testifying in court about statements made to them out of court-even if the other party to the conversation wants them to testify-on the ground that the statements are hearsay. However, a number of exceptions exist to the general prohibition of hearsay testimony.

A Texas court ruled that a criminal defendant was not entitled to a new trial as a result of a trial judge's refusal to allow the defendant's pastors to testify regarding statements he had made to them. A man (the "defendant") shot and killed his wife during an argument. A few minutes later he drove to his church, knowing his mother was there. He told her, and his two pastors, that he had accidentally shot his wife. The defendant was charged with murder. During his trial, he asked his pastors to testify on his behalf that he had told them shortly after the shooting that it had been an ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1997

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