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University of Michigan Law School

2004

Sixth Amendment

Common Law

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Face To Face': Rediscovering The Right To Confront Prosecution Witnesses, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2004

Face To Face': Rediscovering The Right To Confront Prosecution Witnesses, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of an accused 'to confront the witnesses against him'. The United States Supreme Court has treated this Confrontation Clause as a broad but rather easily rebuttable rule against using hearsay on behalf of a criminal prosecution; with respect to most hearsay, the exclusionary rule is overcome if the court is persuaded that the statement is sufficiently reliable, and the court can reach that conclusion if the statement fits within a 'firmly rooted' hearsay exception. This article argues that this framework should be abandoned. The clause should not be regarded ...