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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156480 Find in a Library
Title: New Exception to Noncompellability of Spousal Testimony in Criminal Proceedings: The Domestic Violence Act of 1994
Journal: Maryland Law Review  Volume:54  Issue:3  Dated:(1995)  Pages:891-904
Author(s): M K Scanlan
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of Maryland's Domestic Violence Act of 1994 concludes that the newly created exception to the spousal privilege under the law is a much-needed step in the direction toward abrogation of the privilege in the context of domestic violence.
Abstract: The Maryland legislature appears to have reluctantly conceded that the purposes of the spousal privilege do not always outweigh the public need to prevent and punish violent crimes in the domestic setting. The law supports a broad application of the abuse of a child exception and permits the government to use a missing witness inference in certain cases. As amended, the spousal privilege change will likely increase the cost to the court system and the legal community in terms of time and money. In the future, the legislature may find that whatever marital harmony is preserved between domestic violence victims and their aggressors through the noncompellability of spousal testimony is not worth this price. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Maryland; Spouse abuse statutes; State laws; Victims of violent crime
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