United States v. Barrett
539 F.2d 244 (1976)
- Barrett was arrested on suspicion of stealing some rare
- At trial, Barrett attempted to introduce the testimony of
- Melvin wanted to testify that a guy named Tilly told him
that he had robbed the stamps and that Barrett was not involved.
- Barrett argued that the testimony was not hearsay
under FRE 804(b)(3) because Tilly was making incriminating comments
against his own self-interest.
- The prosecution argued that Tilly's specific statement
about Barrett's involvement was not against his self-interest, so it was
not admissible under the FRE 804(b)(3) exception.
- By the time of the trial, Tilly was dead and could not be
called to testify.
- The Trial Judge did not allow the testimony to be
- The Trial Judge found that only statements that are
prejudicial to the declarant are admissible under FRE 804(b)(3).
- The Trial Court found Barrett guilty. He appealed.
- The Appellate Court reversed and remanded for a new trial.
- The Appellate Court found that FRE 804(b)(3) asks
- The offered remarks come within the hearsay
exception as a statement against interest because they imply that
Tilley had knowledge of, and was therefore involved in, a crime.
- If so, is there sufficient corroboration to clearly
- The Appellate Court found that the remark did constitute
a statement against interest and remanded to the Trial Court to
determine if there is sufficient corroboration.
- By saying that he knew Barrett was not involved, Tilley
was incriminating himself by showing knowledge of who committed the
- The basic rule here is that a remark standing alone, may
not be against interest, but the statement as a whole can be against
- Here, the exculpatory part concerning Barrett's
non-involvement coupled with Tilley's inside information makes the
statement against the interest of the declarant.