Crawford vs. Washington

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Submitted By tonya453
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Crawford v. Washington

Issue: Petitioner Michael Crawford stabbed a man who allegedly tried to rape his wife, Sylvia. At his trial, the State played for the jury Sylvia's tape-recorded statement to the police describing the stabbing, even though Crawford had no opportunity for cross-examination. The State sought to introduce a recorded statement that petitioner's wife Sylvia had made during police interrogation, as evidence that the stabbing was not in self-defense. Sylvia did not testify at trial because of Washington's marital privilege. The tape was played at trial, but she did not testify, testimonial statements are at issue, the only indicium of reliability sufficient to satisfy constitutional demands is confrontation.
Rule: The question presented is whether this procedure complied with the Sixth Amendment's guarantee that, "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him. Where testimonial evidence is at issue, however, the Sixth Amendment demands what the common law required: unavailability and a prior opportunity for cross-examination. Petitioner argued that admitting the evidence would violate his Sixth Amendment right to be "confronted with the witnesses against him." Under Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U. S. 56, that right does not bar admission of an unavailable witness's statement against a criminal defendant if the statement bears "adequate 'indicia of reliability,' " a test met when the evidence either falls within a "firmly rooted hearsay exception" or bears "particularized guarantees of trustworthiness.
Application: The Confrontation Clause was directed was the civil-law mode of criminal procedure, and particularly its use of ex parte examinations as evidence against the accused. In addition, “that the Framers would not have allowed admission of testimonial statements of a…...

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