Jone Tran


It is clear that the reexcitement analysis has both benefits and detriments. Reexcitement may be a basis for admission of evidence in cases where the danger of influencing during the calm period is somehow obviated-as in the recent Crawford opinion. Because of the heightened danger of undue influence in reexcitement cases, the courts should require corroborating evidence that the declarant did not confide in anyone during the intervening period of calm, to reduce the chance of outside pressures and influences. Congress should provide an amendment to the Federal Rules of Evidence expressly allowing for reexcitement, but also requiring either physical corroborating evidence of the truthfulness of the statement or the declarant to be available for cross-examination- similar to Napier and the child abuse cases. Therefore, with the defendant's opportunity to cross-examine, she may lead the fact finder to question the biased nature of the declarant's statement. Furthermore, the requirement of physical evidence that substantiates the excited statement also serves the same purpose. It is uncertain whether reexcitement cases are to be categorized as merely a part of the expansion of the excited utterance exception, or as an anomaly analysis in a class of its own. It is, however, certain that the modem day interpretation of the excited utterance marks a pattern of changing societal attitudes which reflect an increasing awareness of the distinct aspects of a victim's psychological state.


2004 John M. Manos Writing Competition on Evidence

Included in

Evidence Commons