Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

In Lilly v. Virginia, the Supreme Court once again has the opportunity to grapple with the meaning of the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendmel).t. The basic facts of Lilly are simple, for they present the ageold problem of accomplice confessions. Three men, Gary Barker and Ben and Mark Lilly, went on a crime spree, during which one of them shot to death a young man they had robbed and kidnaped. Ben Lilly was charged with being the triggerman, and Barker testified to that effect at Ben's trial. Mark did not testify. But Mark had made a statement to the police shortly after the trio was apprehended, and he also identified his brother Ben as the triggerman. Mark's statement was introduced over Ben's objection. Ben was convicted. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the conviction, treating Mark's statement as a declaration against penal interest, 499 S.E.2d 522 (1998), and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari. The case was argued on March 29, 1999.


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