A statement made out-of-court is generally not admissible in court, if the statement is being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the out-of-court statement.
The prohibition against the admission of hearsay evidence reflects a general policy concern with the integrity of the adversary system. Specific justifications for the hearsay rules include:
1. Declarant Cannot Be Cross-Examined:
An out-of-court declarant cannot be cross-examined. Without cross-examination, the fact finder cannot evaluate the accuracy of the out-of-court statement.
2. Declarant Not Under Oath:
The declarant was not under oath she made the out-of-court statement. Therefore, the statement lacks reliability. (NOTE: this policy concerns is also reflected by the general requirement of oath or affirmation as a condition of witness competence).
3. Possibility of Faulty Transmittal:
The witness may not accurately re-state the declarant’s oral statement.
4. Futility of Cross-Examination:
Cross-examination of the testifying witness will be futile since the testifying witness cannot testify as to declarant’s state of mind, intent, bias or motive.