Court: Can’t use dying words unless you think you are dying

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina appeals court has ruled a dying man’s identification of the person who killed him cannot be used in court if the victim doesn’t think he is about to die.

The state Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge who tossed out 19-year-old Davon Goodwin’s “dying declaration” which was made three days and two surgeries after he was shot in Charleston County in 2011.

Goodwin was in physical therapy and was out of intensive care when he died five days after he was questioned.

The three appeals judges unanimously agreed the evidence would be hearsay. Defendants have the right to question testimony against them except in limited circumstances, like a witness’ imminent death.

Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson told The Post and Courier of Charleston she will appeal.

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