Hawaii Revised Statutes 610 Religious Beliefs or Opinions.

Rule 610 Religious beliefs or opinions. Evidence of beliefs or opinions of a witness on matters of religion is not admissible for the purpose of showing that by reason of their nature the witness' credibility is impaired or enhanced. [L 1980, c 164, pt of ยง1; gen ch 1985]


This rule is identical with Fed. R. Evid. 610, the Advisory Committee's Note to which says:

While the rule forecloses inquiry into the religious beliefs or opinions of a witness for the purpose of showing that his character for truthfulness is affected by their nature, an inquiry for the purpose of showing interest or bias because of them is not within the prohibition. Thus disclosure of affiliation with a church which is a party to the litigation would be allowable under the rule.

Case Notes

Trial court did not err in allowing witness to testify regarding witness' religious beliefs where prosecution did not inquire into witness' religious beliefs for the purpose of enhancing witness' credibility but was instead seeking to establish why witness did not murder person defendant sought to have witness murder. 99 H. 390, 56 P.3d 692 (2002).

The State did not elicit evidence of complainant's "beliefs or opinions on matters of religion" in violation of this rule where prosecutor's questions regarding the religious necklace were relevant to showing complainant's ability to positively identify the items complainant was wearing during defendant's assaults. 106 H. 365 (App.), 105 P.3d 242 (2004).

Last modified: October 27, 2016