Coconspirator’s exception is an exception to the hearsay rule. Under this exception one conspirator’s acts and statements, if made during and in furtherance of the conspiracy, are admissible against a defendant even if the statements are made in the defendant’s absence. A coconspirator’s exception is also termed coconspirator’s rule.
To fall within definition of coconspirator hearsay exception, statements must be made during course, and be in furtherance, of conspiracy. [Whelchel v. Wood, 996 F. Supp. 1019, 1028 (D. Wash. 1997)].
The following is an example of a case law explaining the factors required to admit a statement under coconspirator’s exception:
To admit a statement under the coconspirator exception to the hearsay definition, a district court must find two factors by a preponderance of the evidence: first, that a conspiracy existed that included the defendant and the declarant; and second, that the statement was made during the course of and in furtherance of that conspiracy. The appellate court will not disturb a district court's findings on these issues unless they are clearly erroneous. Moreover, any improper admission of coconspirator testimony is subject to harmless error analysis. [United States v. Gigante, 166 F.3d 75 (2d Cir. 1999)].