JFK Assassination Forum

General Discussion & Debate => General Discussion & Debate => Topic started by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 12:14:49 PM

Title: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 12:14:49 PM
On page 178 of “Truth Withheld” by James T. Tague, he states that in a preliminary hearing to determine whether there were grounds to bring Clay Shaw to trial, that the defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense. But it was denied as hearsay.

I am guessing that the reason for this has to do with the requirements of how evidence has to be introduced. But I would like to know what the legal scholars have to say about this. Do we have any knowledgeable legal eagles here that want to respond?
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Martin Weidmann on April 19, 2019, 04:07:35 PM
On page 178 of “Truth Withheld” by James T. Teague, he states that in a preliminary hearing to determine whether there were grounds to bring Clay Shaw to trial, that the defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense. But it was denied as hearsay.

I am guessing that the reason for this has to do with the requirements of how evidence has to be introduced. But I would like to know what the legal scholars have to say about this. Do we have any knowledgeable legal eagles here that want to respond?

The most obvious reason seems to me to be that the opinion of a commission, presented in the way of a conclusion, is by definition argumentative and thus not evidence related to the crime nor does it constitute proof.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 04:29:38 PM
The most obvious reason seems to me to be that the opinion of a commission, presented in the way of a conclusion, is by definition argumentative and thus not evidence related to the crime nor does it constitute proof.

The 26 volumes include more than an opinion. They catalog the physical evidence and include the sworn testimony of many witnesses.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Martin Weidmann on April 19, 2019, 04:46:38 PM
The 26 volumes include more than an opinion. They catalog the physical evidence and include the sworn testimony of many witnesses.

And yet is was ruled hearsay!

There is no guarantee that the 26 volumes contain all the available evidence and it would express an opinion if only certain evidence was included.

But even if the 26 volumes themselves are not the issue, the report that is based on them is.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 05:08:42 PM
And yet is was ruled hearsay!

There is no guarantee that the 26 volumes contain all the available evidence and it would express an opinion if only certain evidence was included.

But even if the 26 volumes themselves are not the issue, the report that is based on them is.

I am happy that you distinguished the difference between the report and the 26 volumes. The claim in Teague’s book says the 26 volumes were ruled as hearsay and didn’t say anything about the report.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Martin Weidmann on April 19, 2019, 05:18:18 PM
I am happy that you distinguished the difference between the report and the 26 volumes. The claim in Teague’s book says the 26 volumes were ruled as hearsay and didn’t say anything about the report.

Really?

the defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense.

I guess it just depends how you interpret those words.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 05:40:46 PM
Really?

the defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense.

I guess it just depends how you interpret those words.

Here is the sentence as written in the book:

“The Defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense, but it was denied as hearsay.”

I certainly interpreted it that way. The 26 volumes were published separately and in support of the report.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Martin Weidmann on April 19, 2019, 07:07:14 PM
Here is the sentence as written in the book:

“The Defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense, but it was denied as hearsay.”

I certainly interpreted it that way. The 26 volumes were published separately and in support of the report.

To me the "26 volumes of the Warren Report" means the whole package, including the report itself, but I'm more than happy to simply agree to disagree on that.

Selectively gathered evidence published in 26 volumes is also an expression of an opinion.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 07:08:00 PM
This was a preliminary hearing, not a trial. But even so, I guess that the prosecution would object because they wouldn’t be able to examine the evidence and witnesses. Just wondering what the legal scholars have to say about this.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 07:33:29 PM
To me the "26 volumes of the Warren Report" means the whole package, including the report itself, nut I'm more than happy to simply agree to disagree on that.

Selectively gathered evidence published in 26 volumes is also an expression of an opinion.

From Mary Ferrell Foundation website:

Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits
The Warren Commission published 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits within a few months after issuing its report. Volumes 1 - 5 are hearings conducted by the Commission members in Washington DC. Volumes 6 - 15 are hearings conducted by staff attorneys on location in Dallas, New Orleans, and other places. Volume 15 also contains an index to names and exhibits. Volumes 16 - 26 contain photographed Commission Exhibits, usually abbreviated to CE (i.e., CE 399), plus other exhibits organized by name.

     1.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume I
     2.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume II
     3.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume III
     4.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume IV
     5.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume V
     6.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume VI
     7.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume VII
     8.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume VIII
     9.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume IX
     10.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume X
     11.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XI
     12.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XII
     13.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XIII
     14.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XIV
     15.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XV
     16.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XVI
     17.   Warren Commission Hearings Volume XVII
     18.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XVIII
     19.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XIX
     20.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XX
     21.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXI
     22.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXII
     23.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXIII
     24.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXIV
     25.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXV
     26.   Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXVI
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Martin Weidmann on April 19, 2019, 09:12:22 PM
This was a preliminary hearing, not a trial. But even so, I guess that the prosecution would object because they wouldn’t be able to examine the evidence and witnesses. Just wondering what the legal scholars have to say about this.

they wouldn’t be able to examine the evidence and witnesses

Why?

If you are really saying that accepting the 26 volumes would have precluded the prosecutor make his own case then you have just given the best reason ever for not letting the 26 volumes in.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 19, 2019, 09:33:24 PM
they wouldn’t be able to examine the evidence and witnesses

Why?

If you are really saying that accepting the 26 volumes would have precluded the prosecutor make his own case then you have just given the best reason ever for not letting the 26 volumes in.

Why?

The actual evidence and witnesses would have to be in the courtroom in order for the prosecution to examine it.


If you are really saying that accepting the 26 volumes would have precluded the prosecutor make his own case then you have just given the best reason ever for not letting the 26 volumes in.

I am asking. Just guessing that that could have been a reason.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: John Iacoletti on April 19, 2019, 11:54:44 PM
This was a preliminary hearing, not a trial. But even so, I guess that the prosecution would object because they wouldn’t be able to examine the evidence and witnesses. Just wondering what the legal scholars have to say about this.

I think you’re right. The Warren Report and Hearings/Exhibits could not be cross-examined.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 20, 2019, 12:58:38 AM
I think you’re right. The Warren Report and Hearings/Exhibits could not be cross-examined.

Yes, but we are accustomed to the proceedings of actual trials. A preliminary hearing is somewhat different. And that might be why the defense even tried to introduce the 26 volumes. I am only guessing and asking whether or not this makes legal sense.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Peter Kleinschmidt on April 20, 2019, 05:34:35 AM
Yes, but we are accustomed to the proceedings of actual trials. A preliminary hearing is somewhat different. And that might be why the defense even tried to introduce the 26 volumes. I am only guessing and asking whether or not this makes legal sense.
The judge probably asked The NYTimes what they thought, so hearsay it would be
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Andrew Mason on April 20, 2019, 02:31:52 PM
On page 178 of “Truth Withheld” by James T. Tague, he states that in a preliminary hearing to determine whether there were grounds to bring Clay Shaw to trial, that the defense tried to introduce the 26 volumes of the Warren Report in their defense. But it was denied as hearsay.

I am guessing that the reason for this has to do with the requirements of how evidence has to be introduced. But I would like to know what the legal scholars have to say about this. Do we have any knowledgeable legal eagles here that want to respond?
The 26 volumes was correctly rejected as hearsay.  It contains testimonies and statements of witnesses which can only be admitted by calling the witnesses themselves and allowing the opposing party to cross-examine them. Although at a preliminary inquiry the threshold for committal to stand trial is much less than is required for a conviction (the test is essentially whether there is some evidence on which a properly instructed jury could convict) the same rules of evidence that apply at a trial are followed.
Title: Re: Hearsay?
Post by: Charles Collins on April 20, 2019, 08:38:26 PM
The 26 volumes was correctly rejected as hearsay.  It contains testimonies and statements of witnesses which can only be admitted by calling the witnesses themselves and allowing the opposing party to cross-examine them. Although at a preliminary inquiry the threshold for committal to stand trial is much less than is required for a conviction (the test is essentially whether there is some evidence on which a properly instructed jury could convict) the same rules of evidence that apply at a trial are followed.

Thanks, that explains it.