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United States Supreme Court

2004

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The Confrontation Clause Re-Rooted And Transformed, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2004

The Confrontation Clause Re-Rooted And Transformed, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

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 ...