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In re Order Approving Revision to Comment to Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 802

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

February 19, 2014

IN RE: ORDER APPROVING THE REVISION TO THE COMMENT TO PENNSYLVANIA RULE OF EVIDENCE 802

FINAL REPORT [1]

REVISION OF THE COMMENT TO RULE OF EVIDENCE 802

On February 19, 2014, effective April 1, 2014, 2013, upon the joint recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee and the Committee on Rules of Evidence, the Court adopted new Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 574 and a corollary revision to the Comment to Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 802

Historically, the Comment to Rule of Evidence 802 was intended to inform that the Rules of Evidence do not attempt to codify requirements under the Confrontation Clause. See Pa.R.E. 802, Comment. Moreover, the Rules of Evidence acknowledge that evidentiary rules may exist in other bodies of rules. Id.

The new Criminal Rule of Procedure 574 will operate both as a "notice and demand" mechanism to satisfy the requirements of the Confrontation Clause and as a new rule of evidence that will permit the admission of laboratory reports in criminal trials. Accordingly, the Comment to Rule 802 was amended to recognize this new Rule and describe its operation.


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