- Feb 9, 2010
Nice explanation, you should teach.WARNING: Very long response ahead. Use your fast forward button liberally.
I am not sure how yahoo publishing the tape's contents or whether the NCAA asked for the tapes would impact the reliability of the evidence. Frank never denied that the tape was authentic or claimed that he did not say what was reported.
The tape was offered as evidence by Emanuel "Book" Richardson, a defendant in a federal trial, over Richardson's corruption. Richardson was apparently trying to argue that "everyone does it" by showing how corrupt Wade is. The judge (correctly in my view) concluded (after the tape was played in open court) that it was not relevant to Richardson's case and excluded it. He never suggested that the tape was not competent evidence of Wade's misdeeds.
As for the question whether it is hearsay, I'll give a little tutorial on the rule against hearsay on the off chance someone might find it interesting, but tl/dr, it probably isn't hearsay, but even if it were, it would almost certainly be admissible in a case involving Wade.
Hearsay is defined as an out of court statement offered "for the truth of the matter asserted." So if I testified that on a day in question Mistachill said "I can't find my umbrella," the statement would (likely) not be admissible to show that Mistachill couldn't find his umbrella on that day, but would be admissible to show circumstantially that it was raining or that rain was expected that day. Complicated I know.
The general rule excluding hearsay from evidence is further complicated by the fact that hearsay is defined to exclude (among other things) statements of opposing parties (a party's out of court statements can (often? usually?) be used against them). Like Frank's admission that he is a lying, cheating bum.
Also, the rule against hearsay is riddled with exceptions. The federal rules list 25 of them. (google Federal Rules of Evidence 803, 804 and 807). The last exception, 807, is that hearsay is admissible, even if no other exception applies, if the source of the statement is otherwise reliable. Here, that would be an FBI wiretap.
So, very longwinded explanation of why the rule about hearsay is utterly, completely irrelevant here, as it is in 99.999% of instances in which non-lawyers use it to dismiss information. People are convicted and sent to prison, or even death row, based solely on hearsay evidence every single day.