The Admissibility of Excited Utterances in Court
Excited utterances, which are statements made in the heat of the moment during a startling event, can be a powerful piece of evidence in a court of law. This is due to the fact that the speaker is less likely to be intentionally providing false information, making the statement more reliable for decision-making. However, the admissibility of these utterances has long been a point of debate in the legal system. The Federal Rules of Evidence, which regulate what types of evidence are admissible in federal court, does not explicitly mention excited utterances. However, many states have adopted an exception to the hearsay rule that allows these types of statement to be admitted as evidence. According to the National Center for State Courts, “In most states, an utterance made in response to a startling event is considered an exception to the hearsay rule and is admissible as evidence if the declarant is unavailable to testify” (NCSC, n.d.). Cont…
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