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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Criminal Procedure

University of Richmond

2003

Ohio v. Roberts

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Admissibility As Cause And Effect: Considering Affirmative Rights Under The Confrontation Clause, John G. Douglass Jan 2003

Admissibility As Cause And Effect: Considering Affirmative Rights Under The Confrontation Clause, John G. Douglass

Law Faculty Publications

In this essay, I first examine some of the strategic choices spawned by the Supreme Court's "microscopic" focus on reliability in confrontation-hearsay cases. Rather than promoting the value at the core of the Confrontation Clause-the adversarial testing of prosecution evidence-the Court's approach leads to choices that ignore that value. While the Court scrutinizes hearsay under the microscope of reliability, it leaves the parties free to ignore and even to avoid available opportunities for effective confrontation of the hearsay declarant. At the same time, the Court's constitutional definition of reliability-which it equates with "firmly rooted" hearsay exceptions -has ...