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Sixth Amendment

2015

Jurisprudence

St. Mary's University

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Gradually Exploded: Confrontation Vs. The Former Testimony Rule., Tim Donaldson Jan 2015

Gradually Exploded: Confrontation Vs. The Former Testimony Rule., Tim Donaldson

St. Mary's Law Journal

Observing live court testimony allows a jury to determine witness credibility. This is called demeanor evidence. Allowing the introduction of transcripts of prior testimony by a witness offends a defendant's right to confrontation guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Loss of demeanor evidence can heighten sensitivity surrounding the constitutional demands of unavailability and an opportunity for cross-examination. But the loss of this evidence is discounted when dealing with the admissibility of prior testimony as long as a defendant was formerly afforded an opportunity to cross-examine. Demeanor evidence, however, is still treated as a non-essential component of …