Runaway Witness Law and Legal Definition

Runaway witness refers to witness who is unresponsive while under cross-examination. The unresponsiveness may take many forms. For example, the witness can answer the question on cross, but in such a way as to make the answer unintelligible. The witness can refuse to answer the question put on cross and answer a different question. The witness can answer generally the question on cross, but include many other answers to questions not asked. The witness can volunteer prejudicial information to dramatic effect. The witness can also object to the question posed and in some instances rule on his/her own objection, without answering the question.