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Murder defendant loses right to cross-examine witness (access required)

N.C. Court of Appeals turns to federal law to find guidance on doctrine of forfeiture

A murderer who threatened to kill a witness and his family forfeited his right to cross-examine the rattled witness during trial, the N.C. Court of Appeals determined in a ruling of first impression. The appeal highlighted a murky area in state law: The N.C. Rules of Evidence are silent on the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing, which also had not been addressed directly in the state’s case law— until now.

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