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June 09, 2011

Hell Hath No Fury: Elizabeth Edwards Gets Vengeance On John From Beyond The Grave?

This is claimed by the National Enquirer, as an initial matter, though Say Anything quotes from the Daily Mail, citing the Enquirer.

Now I say the obligatory "the Enquirer is the Enquirer," and then you also know the next obligatory statement, "but the Enquirer has been over this like Anthony Weiner on a 16 year old girl who just Tweeted she wanted to have sex with him."

In a final act of revenge, Elizabeth Edwards secretly recorded a testimony in her dying days that helped prosecutors indict husband John last week, it was claimed today.

At the Daily Mail, some discussion of the most famous and Hollywood hearsay exception: The Dying Declaration.

Bruce Baron, an expert on federal law, said: ‘The value of a potential dying declaration, or tape, containing the testimony of Elizabeth Edwards, is devastating to any case or defence that Edwards would have.

‘Remember, this is a wife of many years, who would basically be stating what had happened. The veracity of it would be devastating,’ he told the Enquirer.

So this is not a recording of John Edwards talking to Elizabeth. This is Elizabeth offering her own testimony about what she knows, and the tape itself is just hearsay (no living witness to verify its contents), but if it's a Dying Declaration, it's an exception to the general rule.

Dying Declarations are usually thought to have a decent level of credibility, the idea being no one uses his last breaths to tell a lie.

But Elizabeth has been dying for years -- literally, more so than most people -- and it's not clear when this recording was made. If it was made months before her actual death, that would really, seriously strain the idea of the Dying Declaration. Which is usually thought to be a With My Last Breath I Spit At Thee thing.

Also: Is it true in this case she would have no reason to lie?

‘She hated them with a vengeance. This was a woman who took her final breath in the same bed where John once had sex with his mistress.’

Too interesting to not post!

By the way, I already know I've conflated the hearsay idea with the verification of documentary evidence idea. I know I've mixed two things together.

That's what you're here for -- to correct all of my horrendous errors.

Via Melissa Tweets.

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posted by Ace at 02:04 PM

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