This article first demonstrates that courts historically did not trust penal interest statements in general, and that courts were extremely suspicious of any statements by a third party that implicated the defendant. Since Washington adopted Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b)(3) verbatim, this article then analyzes the legislative history of the rule. The article concludes that the legislative history favored exclusion of inculpatory statements but that Congress failed to codify the exclusion because of unrelated problems. Finally, the article discusses the confrontation clause problems that arise when inculpatory statements are allowed into evidence. This article argues that the Parris holding should be narrowed, in a case now pending in the court of appeals, to exclude inculpatory statements altogether. The authors urge a rule of exclusion notwithstanding the supreme court's rejection of this claim as having little merit.
James E. Beaver and Cheryl McCleary, Inculpatory Statements Against Penal Interest: State v. Parris Goes Too Far, 8 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 25 (1984).