Chapter 5 - §1. Overview

JurisdictionUnited States

§1. Overview

Under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a criminal defendant has a right to confront all witnesses who "bear testimony" against him, whether that testimony comes through an appearance at trial or through introduction of an out-of-court statement. See U.S. Const. amend. 6; Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009) 557 U.S. 305, 309-10; Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36, 50-51. When the prosecution offers testimony that violates this right, it typically must be excluded. See Crawford, 541 U.S. at 68. The purpose of this exclusion is to ensure the reliability of evidence brought against a criminal defendant by subjecting it to rigorous testing in an adversarial proceeding before the trier of fact. Maryland v. Craig (1990) 497 U.S. 836, 845; see Melendez-Diaz, 557 U.S. at 317; Crawford, 541 U.S. at 61. The Sixth...

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