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Yale Law School

Faculty Scholarship Series

Law and evidence

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Some Observations On The Law Of Evidence: Family Relations, Donald Slesinger, Robert M. Hutchins Jan 1929

Some Observations On The Law Of Evidence: Family Relations, Donald Slesinger, Robert M. Hutchins

Faculty Scholarship Series

E XCEPT In cases of necessity' the wife was incompetent to
testify for or against her husband at common law Coke
suggests that the reason for the rule lay in the fact that husband
and wife were one, and naturally could not be divided for the
purposes of testimony Although the courts soon got beyond this
doctrine, they insisted on the value of the rule. They argued that
spouses, though perhaps not physically identical, were identical
in interest. When disqualification by interest was removed, the
judges bad to take other ground, and did so in Stapleton v
Crofts.' There they ...


Some Observations On The Law Of Evidence -- Consciousness Of Guilt, Donald Slesinger, Robert M. Hutchins Jan 1929

Some Observations On The Law Of Evidence -- Consciousness Of Guilt, Donald Slesinger, Robert M. Hutchins

Faculty Scholarship Series

Consciousness of guilt is another state of mind that raises a
new set of legal and psychological problems. Wigmore dramatically
states its significance when he says:
"As an axe leaves its mark in the speechless tree, so an
evil deed leaves its mark in the evil doer's consciousness."
Again:
"The reliance is not upon the testimonial credit of a person,
but upon psychologic forces closely analogous to the
forces of external nature."
As a result, we are not here concerned, as in the case of state of
mind to prove an act, with the hearsay rule or an exception ...