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Abstract

Close to five million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated against women in the United States annually. Domestic violence accounts for twenty percent of all non-fatal crime experienced by women in this county. Despite these statistics, many have argued that in the past six years the Supreme Court has "put a target on [the] back" of the domestic violence victim, has "significantly eroded offender accountability in domestic violence prosecutions," and has directly instigated a substantial decline in domestic violence prosecutions. The asserted cause is the Court's complete and groundbreaking re-conceptualization of the Sixth Amendment right of a criminal defendant to confront his accusers, beginning with the historic decision Crawford v. Washington in 2004, through Davis v. Washington two years later, and then Giles v. California two years after that. This Article will evaluate the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation in the context of domestic violence cases, both to assess certain consequences of this major constitutional shift and to suggest a change to confrontation doctrine in order to address some of the negative consequences that have apparently resulted. This Article engages in this consideration by way of an assessment of all state domestic violence cases that have examined the Confrontation Clause after Davis v. Washington.