In every action or proceeding, civil or criminal, for libel or slander, the defendant may, with his or her plea of not guilty or his answer, file a written notice that he or she will prove the truth of the publication charged as libelous, or of the words charged as slanderous, and in such case may, upon the trial, give the truth in evidence, without any special plea of justification or affirmative defense in his or her answer; and the truth, unless published or uttered from malicious motives, shall be sufficient defense to the person charged.

History of Section.
(C.P.A. 1905, § 286; G.L. 1909, ch. 288, § 2; G.L. 1923, ch. 338, § 2; G.L. 1938, ch. 520, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 9-6-9; P.L. 1965, ch. 55, § 16.)