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By ARep | February 11th, 2009 - 5:06pm
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THOMPSON INTRODUCES RESOLUTION AMENDING RULES OF EVIDENCE IN NEW JERSEYCOURTS       Assemblyman Sam Thompson, R-Monmouth & Middlesex, introduced a joint legislative resolution that will permit New Jersey’s courts to amend its Rules of Evidence guideline to permit a ‘forfeiture by wrongdoing’ exception to the hearsay rule, which would be patterned after the federal courts’ rules of evidence.  In essence, the list of exceptions to the prohibition of hearsay evidence would be expanded to include testimony provided by a witness despite their unavailability to appear in court because of a legitimate threat to their safety caused by the defendant. “This resolution will give our courts the authority to allow into evidence the statements of individuals whose well-being is threatened by the defendant or someone affiliated with the accused,” stated Thompson.  “Federal law permits the ‘forfeiture by wrongdoing’ exception to account for such occurrences.  This exception will ensure that intimidation of witnesses is not a viable defense weapon for the accused.” Thompson’s joint resolution stems from a New Jersey Appellate Court ruling that declined to adopt a ‘forfeiture by wrongdoing’ exception to the hearsay rule, as it cited the unequivocal statutory procedures that are in place regarding rules of evidence which do not include this provision.  The Appellate Court’s ruling was recently heard by the New Jersey State Supreme Court and a decision is pending. “Adding this component to the permitted hearsay rule will assist prosecutors in their efforts to overcome attempts to coerce a witness against testifying,” continued Thompson.  “Threatening a witness should not be an option for a defendant in either a federal or state court.” If passed by the Legislature and signed into law, the New Jersey court system may adopt the amendment.                                          #####

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

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