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The rule provides for admissibility of hearsay from an absent declarant of a 'statement which . . . so far tended to subject the declarant to . . . criminal liability, . . . that a reasonable person in the declarant's position would not have made the statement unless believing it to be true.' Fed. R. Evid. 804(b)(3). The word 'tending' broadens the phrase, so that the statement need not be a plain confession making the difference between guilty and not guilty. United States v. Slaughter, 891 F.2d 691, 698 (9th Cir. 1989); United States v. Satterfield, 572 F.2d 687, 691 (9th Cir. 1978). 

'Whether a statement is in fact against interest must be determined from the circumstances of each case,' Williamson, 512 U.S. at 601, and 'can only be determined by viewing it in context.' Id. at 603. 

Some argue that Williamson, 512 U.S. 594, 601, 129 L. Ed. 2d 476, 114 S. Ct. 2431 (1994), required the district judge to parse the statement and exclude the non-inculpatory parts. That reading is incorrect. In Williamson, the police caught a man with two suitcases of cocaine in his trunk. ...

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