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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 128415 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Child Witness Testimony: Is It Sufficiently Reliable To Justify the Protective Procedures Sanctioned by Maryland v. Craig
Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal  Volume:42  Issue:1  Dated:(1990)  Pages:1-9
Author(s): E A Moore; P S Howitt; T Grier
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Through a review of relevant psychological studies, this article considers whether child-witness testimony is sufficiently reliable to justify child-witness separation from defendants in child sexual abuse cases, as approved in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Maryland v. Craig (1990).
Abstract: In "Craig" the Court upheld a Maryland statute that offered a State trial court the option to permit use of a one-way video camera so a child does not have to view a defendant while testifying. Despite "Craig's" mention of reliability as a prerequisite of child-witness testimony before it could be admitted when the defendant was prevented from facing the witness, "Craig's" majority ignored the issue. "Craig's" dissent focused on the reliability issue as the main flaw of the majority's decision. The psychological studies reviewed in this article show that children have the capacity to recall events accurately, to resist suggestive questioning, and to provide testimony with competent understanding of the difference between truth and falsehood. Based on these findings, this article argues that children are sufficiently reliable witnesses, as a class, to justify the use of the protective measures approved in "Craig." 51 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses; Witness credibility
Index Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions; Video taped testimony
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