An Analysis of Crawford vs. Washington

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  • Topic: Crawford v. Washington, Oath, Evidence law
  • Pages : 2 (420 words )
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  • Published : February 2, 2013
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Crawford v. Washington Analysis
Janilsa Alejo de Smith
Wilmington University

Crawford v. Washington Analysis
Cross-examination is critical during litigation. Many cases have to be proven based on solely witness testimony because of the lack of physical evidence. Therefore, the responsibility of a witness to tell the truth relies on methods to encourage witnesses to maintain their credibility. According to Gardner and Anderson in their book Criminal Evidence: Principles and Cases, the witnesses must take an oath or affirmation that their say will be true and the witnesses must be personally present at the trial in order to ensure the right to confront as stated in the Sixth Amendment. Finally, witnesses are subject to cross-examination. But if it is found that the witness lies, he or she is taking the risk to be charged with perjury or in contempt if the witness refuses to answer a question, unless it is protected by privilege (Gardner and Anderson, 2010). These methods are threatened by the way hearsay interferes and affect them. The Confrontation Clause of the Six Amendment states that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right… to be confronted with the witnesses’ evidence against him…” The implication of hearsay evidence for this clause is explicit: If out-of –court statement evidence is admitted against the accused, this person becomes a witness that is not confronting the accused. One of the methods to confirm witness credibility relies on the presence of the person in court to confront the accused. However, in the case of Crawford v. Washington, this conflicted with his marital privileged because his wife was the one who provided the out-of-court statement. Therefore, hearsay conflicts with the Six Amendment in the case of witness unavailability to be present in court.

In 2004, the U.S Supreme court made major changes to the hearsay Confrontation Clause because it was determined that the defendant’s Sixth Amendment was...
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