Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

For several centuries, prosecution witnesses in criminal cases have given their testimony under oath, face to face with the accused, and subject to cross-examination at trial. The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the procedure, providing that ‘‘[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witness against him.’’ In recent decades, however, judicial protection of the right has been lax, because the U.S. Supreme Court has tolerated admission of outof- court statements against the accused, without cross-examination, if the statements are deemed ‘‘reliable’’ or ‘‘trustworthy.’’ This year, in Crawford v. Washington, the Supreme Court did a sharp aboutface, holding that a testimonial statement cannot be admitted against an accused, no matter how reliable a court may deem it to be, unless the accused has had an adequate opportunity to cross-examine the witness who made the statement.


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