Hearsay is a very important concept in the law of evidence. In this question we examine potential hearsay in the context of a criminal confession. Remember to think of possible exceptions to the hearsay rule.

Douglas, the defendant, is on trial for robbing Donna, the plaintiff. Bob is a bouncer at a nightclub. Stephen is a witness willing to testify. According to Stephen, Bob told Stephen that Douglas had confessed to Bob about committing the robbery.

Examine all possibilities in this case:

  • Can Stephen’s testimony be considered hearsay? Why or why not? 
  • Would the court allow Stephen’s testimony? Why or why not? 
  • In what situation would the court allow Stephen’s testimony? 
  • What would the impact on the case be if Bob testifies?

Support your answers with relevant rules of evidence.

In this question we will discuss the constitutional limits placed upon evidence in a search and seizure situation. Please research this issue to locate some case law addressing similar warrantless searches.

A police officer receives a phone call from an anonymous caller. The caller claims to know the location of goods stolen from a jewelry store. The address the caller provides is on the police list of suspected places. The officer goes to the location without a warrant and finds a map of the area where the jewelry store is located.

After the first inspection the officer calls the court and the station for issuing a warrant. During the second inspection of the property, with a warrant, the officer does not find anything.

The police arrest the suspect and charge him with robbery.

Based on the above information, answer the following questions:

  • Locate the rule of evidence about improperly obtained evidence.
  • Evaluate the rights of the officer and the accused.
  • When is improperly obtained evidence admissible, and when it is not?
  • Illustrate your discussion by citing similar cases and other legal authorities.