Hearsay

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Related to evidence: circumstantial evidence

Hearsay

Evidence gathered from a second-hand or even further removed source. That is, the person giving hearsay evidence did not witness or experience the evidence himself/herself. In many jurisdictions, hearsay evidence is not admissible in court, especially in criminal proceedings. There are, however, a number of exceptions to this rule, notably if the original witness is unavailable or dead.
References in classic literature ?
The young man was tried and convicted of the crime; but either the circumstantial nature of the evidence, and possibly some lurking doubts in the breast of the executive, or" lastly--an argument of greater weight in a republic than it could have been under a monarchy,--the high respectability and political influence of the criminal's connections, had availed to mitigate his doom from death to perpetual imprisonment.
I looked upon it as an evidence, in some measure, of a system naturally well balanced, and lacking no essential part of a thorough organization, that, with such associates to remember, I could mingle at once with men of altogether different qualities, and never murmur at the change.
They were just going home to dinner when the footman came down to the stable to say that Joe was wanted directly in master's private room; there was a man brought up for ill-using horses, and Joe's evidence was wanted.
I know not how significant it is, or how far it is an evidence of singularity, that an individual should thus consent in his pettiest walk with the general movement of the race; but I know that something akin to the migratory instinct in birds and quadrupeds--which, in some instances, is known to have affected the squirrel tribe, impelling them to a general and mysterious movement, in which they were seen, say some, crossing the broadest rivers, each on its particular chip, with its tail raised for a sail, and bridging narrower streams with their dead--that something like the furor which affects the domestic cattle in the spring, and which is referred to a worm in their tails,--affects both nations and individuals, either perennially or from time to time.
I didn't know how to go about satisfying it, because I knew that the testimony of men wouldn't serve -- my reason would say they were lunatics, and throw out their evidence.
She proceeded to offer this incident in evidence on her twin theory:
This is good evidence that Frankfort was the first place it occurred at.
Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution.
That, the evidence of these two witnesses, coupled with the documents of their discovering that would be produced, would show the prisoner to have been furnished with lists of his Majesty's forces, and of their disposition and preparation, both by sea and land, and would leave no doubt that he had habitually conveyed such information to a hostile power.
The men gave these details with the exaggerations common to vulgar minds which have been strongly excited by any remarkable event, and their natural disposition to the marvellous was greatly increased by the satisfaction which their evidence seemed to afford to the eminent person for whose information it had been delivered.
Give your evidence,' said the King; `and don't be nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot.
Why, the chief evidence yet has been the doctors; all but Martin Poyser--poor Martin.