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Throwing A Toy Wrench In The “Greatest Legal Engine”: Child Witnesses And The Confrontation Clause, Jonathan Clow Jan 2015

Throwing A Toy Wrench In The “Greatest Legal Engine”: Child Witnesses And The Confrontation Clause, Jonathan Clow

Washington University Law Review

Cross-examination of witnesses has often been called the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.” Enshrined in the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, this most basic feature of an adversarial legal system guarantees criminal defendants the right to have the prosecution’s witnesses testify in open court and the opportunity to question said witnesses in front of the jury.

The premise underlying this “greatest legal engine” is challenged, however, when children are the “witnesses against” the defendant. Social science and psychological research in recent decades suggest that cross-examination of child witnesses could actually interfere with the ...


Case For A Constitutional Definition Of Hearsay: Requiring Confrontation Of Testimonial, Nonassertive Conduct And Statements Admitted To Explain An Unchallenged Investigation, The , James L. Kainen Aug 2014

Case For A Constitutional Definition Of Hearsay: Requiring Confrontation Of Testimonial, Nonassertive Conduct And Statements Admitted To Explain An Unchallenged Investigation, The , James L. Kainen

James L. Kainen

Crawford v. Washington’s historical approach to the confrontation clause establishes that testimonial hearsay inadmissible without confrontation at the founding is similarly inadmissible today, despite whether it fits a subsequently developed hearsay exception. Consequently, the requirement of confrontation depends upon whether an out-of-court statement is hearsay, testimonial, and, if so, whether it was nonetheless admissible without confrontation at the founding. A substantial literature has developed about whether hearsay statements are testimonial or were, like dying declarations, otherwise admissible at the founding. In contrast, this article focuses on the first question – whether statements are hearsay – which scholars have thus far overlooked ...


Confrontation, Experts, And Rule 703, Paul C. Giannelli Jan 2012

Confrontation, Experts, And Rule 703, Paul C. Giannelli

Faculty Publications

The United States Supreme Court has decided several cases concerning expert testimony and the Confrontation Clause. This essay argues that confrontation issues are complicated by Federal Evidence Rules 73 and 75, which changed the common law rules. Altering the common law made sense in civil cases because civil rules of procedure provide extensive discovery, which ensures basic fairness. In contrast, discovery in criminal cases is quite limited, which undercuts an accused’s ability to meaningfully confront prosecution experts at trial.


Case For A Constitutional Definition Of Hearsay: Requiring Confrontation Of Testimonial, Nonassertive Conduct And Statements Admitted To Explain An Unchallenged Investigation, The , James L. Kainen Jan 2009

Case For A Constitutional Definition Of Hearsay: Requiring Confrontation Of Testimonial, Nonassertive Conduct And Statements Admitted To Explain An Unchallenged Investigation, The , James L. Kainen

Faculty Scholarship

Crawford v. Washington’s historical approach to the confrontation clause establishes that testimonial hearsay inadmissible without confrontation at the founding is similarly inadmissible today, despite whether it fits a subsequently developed hearsay exception. Consequently, the requirement of confrontation depends upon whether an out-of-court statement is hearsay, testimonial, and, if so, whether it was nonetheless admissible without confrontation at the founding. A substantial literature has developed about whether hearsay statements are testimonial or were, like dying declarations, otherwise admissible at the founding. In contrast, this article focuses on the first question – whether statements are hearsay – which scholars have thus far overlooked ...