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NCJ Number: 159846 Find in a Library
Title: Abused Children Should Be Spared Having to Confront Abusers in Court (From Child Abuse: Opposing Viewpoints, P 195-202, 1994, David Bender and Bruno Leone, eds. -- See NCJ-159823)
Author(s): K A Francis
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The prosecution in child abuse cases has increasingly forced legislatures and courts to address special problems involved in balancing victim and defendant rights when the victim is a child.
Abstract: In the 1990 decision in Maryland v. Craig, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that protecting child witnesses from trauma may outweigh the right of defendants to confront their accusers. The author agrees with this decision, contending that defendant rights are not violated when child victim testimony is heard via one-way closed circuit television. While physical confrontation is expressly guaranteed by the sixth amendment's Confrontation Clause and has often been the focus of the U.S. Supreme Court, criminal prosecution of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of children in which child victims testify against the accused poses a difficult task for courts. Courts must balance constitutional rights of the accused with the physical and psychological well- being of the child victim-witness. Purposes of the Confrontation Clause and ways of preserving victim and defendant rights are addressed.
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child victims; Children in the courtroom; Courts; Crimes against children; Juvenile victims; Right to confront witnesses; Rights of minors; Rights of the accused; Testimony; US Supreme Court decisions
Note: Opposing Viewpoints Series
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