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Abstract

This Comment will trace the history of the hearsay rule under both common law and California law. It examines the early use of the common law state of mind hearsay exception regarding statements of fear and physical abuse. It will also discuss the enactment of the California Evidence Code (hereinafter "Code") and the later codification of the state of mind hearsay exception. In addition, it will examine People v. Ruiz, a case which applied the Code's state of mind hearsay exception to prohibit statements regarding the victims' fear of the defendant and the physical abuse which the defendant inflicted on the declarants. This Comment will examine the rationale behind the new hearsay exception, the particular requirements of §1370, and its compliance with other provisions of the Code and the California Constitution. Finally, this Comment will examine the application of §1370 to the admission of evidence in the civil trial against OJ Simpson.

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