CORE CRIMINAL LAW SUBJECTS: Evidence: Prior Consistent Statements

2012 (September Term)

United States v. Coleman, 72 M.J. 184 (a prior consistent statement is not hearsay if it is offered to rebut an express or implied charge against the declarant of recent fabrication or improper influence or motive; the rule requires that a prior statement, admitted as substantive evidence, precede any motive to fabricate or improper influence that it is offered to rebut; where multiple motives to fabricate or multiple improper influences are asserted, the statement need not precede all such motives or inferences, but only the one it is offered to rebut).


United States v. Anderson, 51 MJ 145 (MRE 801(d)(1)(B) applies to statements made prior to trial which are consistent with the witnessís testimony and which are offered to rebut an express or implied allegation against the witness of recent fabrication or improper influence or motive, typically introduced to rehabilitate a witnessís credibility).

(where defense cross-examination solicited from witnesses prior statements which affirmed the witnessís trial testimony, the prior statements were substantive evidence which the members could consider for the truth of the matter therein is they chose to believe them; they were not, therefore, classic prior consistent statements as envisioned in MRE 801(d)(1)(B)).

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