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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 ...


Virtual Cross-Examination: The Art Of Impeaching Hearsay, John G. Douglass Jan 2003

Virtual Cross-Examination: The Art Of Impeaching Hearsay, John G. Douglass

Law Faculty Publications

Trial lawyers and judges are quite accustomed to courtroom battles over the admissibility of hearsay. But relatively few have much experience at challenging the credibility of hearsay. Once hearsay is admitted in evidence, even the ablest advocates typically proceed as if the hearsay battle were over, at least until the appeal. Few lawyers take advantage of the opportunities available to impeach the hearsay declarant. Consider the perspective of one experienced trial judge: I sometimes wonder at what seems to me the passing up of golden opportunities by the able advocate. Foremost among these lost opportunities is the virtual total neglect ...