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Evidence Commons

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Witnesses

Legal History

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

The Mold That Shapes Hearsay Law, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2014

The Mold That Shapes Hearsay Law, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

In response to an article previously published in the Florida Law Review by Professor Ben Trachtenberg, I argue that the historical thesis of Crawford v. Washington is basically correct: The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment reflects a principle about how witnesses should give testimony, and it does not create any broader constraint on the use of hearsay. I argue that this is an appropriate limit on the Clause, and that in fact for the most part there is no good reason to exclude nontestimonial hearsay if live testimony by the declarant to the same proposition would be admissible. I ...


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 ...


The Compulsory Process Clause, Peter Westen Nov 1974

The Compulsory Process Clause, Peter Westen

Michigan Law Review

Part I of this article traces the history of compulsory process, from its origin in the English transition from an inquisitional to an adversary system of procedure to its eventual adoption in the American Bill of Rights. Part II examines the Supreme Court's seminal decision in Washington v. Texas, which recognized after a century and a half of silence that the compulsory process clause was designed to enable the defendant not only to produce witnesses, but to put them on the stand and have them heard. Part III studies the implications of compulsory process for the defendant's case ...