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Tag Archives: Confrontation clause

Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Comments to Social Worker – Not Testimonial

U.S. v. DeLeon Statements made by defendant’s eight-year-old stepson to a social worker about defendant’s abuse were nontestimonial, and admission of the statements did not violate defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights under Crawford v. Washington; the 4th Circuit upholds defendant’s convictions of second-degree murder and assault in the death of his stepson.

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Criminal Practice – First Impression – Doctrine of Forfeiture – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Witness Intimidation

State v. Weathers When defendant threatened the life of a witness and his family, defendant forfeited his right to cross-examine the witness. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied defendant’s motion for a mistrial.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Witness’s Attorney-Client Privilege

State v. Lowery Defendant sought to cross-examine prosecution witnesses about their communications with their attorneys so defendant could prove that these witnesses knew they would not be prosecuted if they agreed to testify. However, the Confrontation Clause does not permit defendant to avoid the witnesses’ attorney-client privilege.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Drug Analysis – Lay Witness – Plain Error

State v. Burrow The pills seized from defendant were identified only in an SBI report. The SBI analyst did not testify, and there was no indication that he was unavailable. It was plain error for the trial court to admit the SBI report through the testimony of a lay witness, a police detective.

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Criminal Practice – Gang-Related Crimes – Constitutional — Confrontation Clause – Anonymous Witnesses

U.S. v. Ramos-Cruz The 4th Circuit says a defendant convicted of racketeering and various gang-related crimes cannot overturn his convictions with a claim that his Confrontation Clause rights were violated because the government allowed two El Salvadorian police officers to testify without revealing their identities

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Criminal Practice – Attempted Murder – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Unavailable Witness – Probable Cause Hearing Testimony – Intent to Kill – Serious Injury – Sentencing – Aggravating Factors

State v. Ross At the probable cause hearing, defendant was represented by counsel (who was one of his trial counsel), he had the same motive to cross-examine victim Besies as at trial, and his counsel did in fact cross-examine Besies; therefore, defendant had an adequate opportunity to cross-examine Besies. Since Besies was unavailable to testify at trial, the trial court did not violate defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him when the court admitted Besies’ testimony from the probable cause hearing into evidence.

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