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NCJ Number: 120738 Find in a Library
Title: Confrontation Clause, the Hearsay Rule, and Child Sexual Abuse Prosecutions: The State of the Relationship
Journal: Minnesota Law Review  Volume:72  Issue:3  Dated:(February 1988)  Pages:523-601
Author(s): M H Graham
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 79
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Current sixth amendment confrontation clause analysis focusing on reliability and, correspondingly, the utility of cross-examination, necessity, benefit, and burden, are not well suited to testing the rules of evidence.
Abstract: The confrontation clause provides that criminal defendants have the right to be confronted with the witnesses against them. It is debated whether out-of-court statements that are admissible under exceptions to the hearsay rule are admissible under the confrontation clause. Recent cases have produced uncertainty about the relationship between the hearsay rule and the confrontation clause. The complexity is illustrated in a hypothetical child sexual abuse case in which the child victim's videotaped testimony must meet the requirements of both the hearsay rule and the confrontation clause to gain admissibility and successfully prosecute the offender. In Dutton vs. Evans, the Supreme Court admitted hearsay testimony of an available but nontestifying witness, and ruled that it did not violate the defendant's right to confrontation. The Ohio vs. Roberts case questioned the admissibility of former testimony of an unavailable declarant. A suggested revision of the text of the confrontation clause would permit a nonappearing but available hearsay declarant to be a witness against a defendant only if circumstances indicate an accusatory declaration. 404 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Hearsay evidence
Index Term(s): Burden of proof; Character testimony; Child Sexual Abuse; Children in the courtroom; Witness credibility
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