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Constitutional Law

University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci Jan 2015

The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci

Articles

This Essay provides a solution to the conundrum of statements made by very young children and offered against an accused in a criminal prosecution. Currently prevailing doctrine allows one of three basic outcomes. First, in some cases the child testifies at trial. But this is not always feasible, and when it is, cross-examination is a poor method for determining the truth. Second, evidence of the child's statement may be excluded, which denies the adjudicative process of potentially valuable information. Third, the evidence may be admitted without the child testifying at trial, which leaves the accused with no practical ability ...


Who Said The Crawford Revolution Would Be Easy?, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2012

Who Said The Crawford Revolution Would Be Easy?, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

One of the central protections of our system of criminal justice is the right of the accused in all criminal prosecutions "to be confronted with the witnesses against him." It provides assurance that prosecution witnesses will give their testimony in the way demanded for centuries by Anglo-American courts-in the presence of the accused, subject to cross-examination- rather than in any other way. Witnesses may not, for example, testify by speaking privately to governmental agents in a police station or in their living rooms. Since shortly after it was adopted, however, the confrontation right became obscured by the ascendance of a ...


Does An Accused Forfeit The Confrontation Right By Murdering A Witness, Absent A Purpose To Render Her Unavailable?, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2008

Does An Accused Forfeit The Confrontation Right By Murdering A Witness, Absent A Purpose To Render Her Unavailable?, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

If an accused murdered a witness, should he be deemed to have forfeited the right under the Sixth Amendment "to be confronted with" the witness, absent proof that the accused committed the murder for the purpose of rendering her unavailable as a witness?


Holmes V. South Carolina Upholds Trial By Jury, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2007

Holmes V. South Carolina Upholds Trial By Jury, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Bobby Lee Holmes was convicted of a brutal rape-murder and sentenced to death. The only evidence that connected him to the crime was forensic: a palm print, and blood and fiber evidence. (Biological samples taken from the victim for two rape kits were compromised and yielded no identifiable evidence.) Holmes claimed that the state's forensic evidence was planted and mishandled, and that the rape and murder were committed by another man, Jimmy McCaw White. At a pretrial hearing three witnesses testified that they saw White near the victim's house at about the time of the crime, and four ...


Confrontation After Crawford, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2005

Confrontation After Crawford, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The following edit excerpt, drawn from "The Confrontation Clause Re-Rooted and Transformed," 2003-04 Cato Supreme Court Review 439 (2004), by Law School Professor Richard D. Friedman, discusses the impact, effects, and questions generated by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Crawford v. Washington last year that a defendant is entitled to confront and cross-examine any testimonial statement presented against him. In Crawford, the defendant, charged with attacking another man with a knife, contested the trial court's admission of a tape-recorded statement his wife made to police without giving him the opportunity to cross-examine. The tiral court admitted ...


Face To Face With The Right Of Confrontation, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2004

Face To Face With The Right Of Confrontation, Richard D. Friedman

Other Publications

This article is an edited excerpt from the amicus curiae brief filed in Crawford v. Washington, heard before the United States Supreme Court on November 10, 2003. Prof. Friedman wrote the brief for the Court.


Adjusting To Crawford: High Court Decision Restores Confrontation Clause Protection, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2004

Adjusting To Crawford: High Court Decision Restores Confrontation Clause Protection, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

In Crawford v. Washington, 124 S. Ct. 1354 (2004), the U.S. Supreme Court radically transformed its doctrine governing the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Craitiord is a very positive development, restoring to its central position one of the basic protections of the common law system of criminal justice. But the decision leaves many open questions, and all lawyers involved in the criminal justice process will have to adjust to the new regime that it creates. This article outlines and summarizes the problems with the law as it stood before Crait/brd. It then ...


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 ...


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 ...


Confrontation: The Search For Basic Principles, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1998

Confrontation: The Search For Basic Principles, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the accused in a criminal prosecution the right "to be confronted with the Witnesses against him."' The Confrontation Clause clearly applies to those witnesses who testify against the accused at trial. Moreover, it is clear enough that confrontation ordinarily includes the accused's right to have those witnesses brought "face-toface," in the time-honored phrase, when they testify.2 But confrontation is much more than this "face-to-face" right. It also comprehends the right to have witnesses give their testimony under oath and to subject them to crossexamination. 3 Indeed, the Supreme Court has treated ...


Prior Statements Of A Witness: A Nettlesome Corner Of The Hearsay Thicket, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1995

Prior Statements Of A Witness: A Nettlesome Corner Of The Hearsay Thicket, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

In Tome v United States, for the fifth time in eight years, the Supreme Court decided a case presenting the problem of how a child's allegations of sexual abuse should be presented in court. Often the child who charges that an adult abused her is unable to testify at trial, or at least unable to testify effectively under standard procedures. These cases therefore raise intriguing and difficult questions related to the rule against hearsay and to an accused's right under the Sixth Amendment to confront the witnesses against him. One would hardly guess that, however, from the rather ...