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Evidence

University of Missouri School of Law

Coconspirator exception

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Coconspirators, “Coventurers,” And The Exception Swallowing The Hearsay Rule, Ben L. Trachtenberg Jan 2010

Coconspirators, “Coventurers,” And The Exception Swallowing The Hearsay Rule, Ben L. Trachtenberg

Faculty Publications

In recent years, prosecutors - sometimes with the blessing of courts - have argued that when proving the existence of a “conspiracy” to justify admission of evidence under the Coconspirator Exception to the Hearsay Rule, they need show only that the declarant and the defendant were “coventurers” with a common purpose, not coconspirators with an illegal purpose. Indeed, government briefs and court decisions specifically disclaim the need to show any wrongful goal whatsoever. This Article contends that such a reading of the Exception is mistaken and undesirable. Conducted for this article, a survey of thousands of court decisions, including the earliest English ...