Changes in prior consistent statements

Remember that under Mil. R. Evid. 1102, any changes to the federal rules become effective in court-martial practice 18 months after federal enactment, unless the President directs changes.  So, federalevidencereview brings us:

Public Comments Critical Of Proposed Amendment To FRE 801(d)(1)(B) (Prior Consistent Statement) (Part IV)

Under what circumstances may prior consistent statements be considered? A proposed amendment under consideration would broaden the use of prior consistent statements. Public comment on the proposal ends today. While few comments have been received, the comments question the necessity of any amendment.

Presently, under FRE 801(d)(1)(B), a prior consistent statement may be introduced as a rehabilitative means to rebut a charge of recent fabrication, influence or motive as long as the statement was made prior to the alleged fabrication, influence or motive. The prior statement as non-hearsay is admitted as substantive evidence under the rule.

Under the draft amendment, FRE 801(d)(1)(B) would be extended to include a prior consistent statement used to “otherwise rehabilitate[] the declarant’s credibility as a witness.” According to the Draft Committee Note, reproduced below, the amendment would “exempt from the hearsay rule” prior consistent statements “whenever they are admissible to rehabilitate the witness.” Prior limitations against using prior consistent statements for other purposes (such as to bolster a witness) would remain unchanged.

The writers link to their prior commentary on this proposed rule change.

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