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Evidence Commons

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Confrontation Clause

University of South Carolina

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We Have A "Purpose" Requirement If We Can Keep It, James F. Flanagan Oct 2009

We Have A "Purpose" Requirement If We Can Keep It, James F. Flanagan

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court in Giles v. California held that a defendant forfeits the right to confront a witness only when he purposefully keeps the witness away. Many see the "purpose" requirement as an unjustified bar to the use of victim hearsay, particularly in domestic violence prosecutions where victims often refuse to appear. The author defends Giles as a correct reading of history, and independently justified by longstanding precedent that constitutional trial rights can only be lost by intentional manipulation of the judicial process. Moreover, the purpose requirement does not prevent prosecutions or convictions because the definition of testimonial hearsay is ...