Trustworthiness Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

For corroboration purposes, the federal courts in the U.S. and a number of state courts have adopted the trustworthiness doctrine that emphasizes the reliability of the defendant's confession over the independent evidence of the corpus delecti.

Under the "trustworthiness" doctrine, direct proof of the corpus delicti is not required. The evidence can even be collateral to the crime itself. However, the corroboration directly relates to the trustworthiness of the important facts contained in the defendant's statement, whereas the corpus delicti is more concerned with the elements of the offense. [Government of Virgin Islands v. Harris, 938 F.2d 401 (3d Cir. V.I. 1991)