Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Dead Man’s Rule

Roughly half of the states in America have enacted a version of the Dead Man's Rule.  Generically, they are various permutations of laws enacted to prevent one party to a litigation in providing live testimony against another party to the litigation who has died during the pendency of the litigation.  These laws are predicated in a basic belief in fairness, where dead persons are no longer able to deny adverse testimony or defend themselves with their own statements. The laws do not prevent a litigant from prevailing in a legitimate dispute, but they narrow the manner in which the litigation may proceed.  At least half of the states have determined that it is unfair to ascribe words to a dead person who is not alive to refute them. This body of jurisprudence comes to mind when reviewing the current controversy regarding the late Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) and his alleged lurid sexual predilections that have been recently...(Read Full Post)
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