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Government motion in U.S. v. Rajat Gupta

Government motion in U.S. v. Rajat Gupta

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Published by: DealBook on May 01, 2012
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05/24/2012

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If a declarant is “unavailable,” Rule 804(b)(3) provides an exception to the hearsay rule

for statements “against interest.” The rule defines a statement against interest as one that:

(A) a reasonable person in the declarant’s position would have made only if the

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person believed it to be true because, when made, it was so contrary to the

declarant’s proprietary or pecuniary interest or had so great a tendency to

invalidate the declarant’s claim against someone else or to expose the declarant to

civil or criminal liability; and

(B) is supported by corroborating circumstances that clearly indicate its

trustworthiness, if it is offered in a criminal case as one that tends to expose the

declarant to criminal liability.

Fed.R.Evid. 804(b)(3). “Rule 804(b)(3) is founded on the commonsense notion that reasonable

people, even reasonable people who are not especially honest, tend not to make self-inculpatory

statements unless they believe them to be true.” Williamson v. United States, 512 U.S. 599, 604

(1994).

To satisfy Rule 804(b)(3), therefore, the proponent must show by a preponderance of the

evidence: “(1) that the declarant is unavailable as a witness, (2) that the statement is sufficiently

reliable to warrant an inference that a reasonable man in [the declarant’s] position would not

have made the statement unless he believed it to be true, and (3) that corroborating circumstances

clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statement.” United States v. Wexler, 522 F.3d 194, 202

(2d Cir. 2008); United States v. Katsougrakis, 715 F.2d 769, 775 (2d Cir. 1983) (same).

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