TO: Judge Mack
FROM: Legal Clerk- Paloma Garcia
RE: Crawford v. Washington
DATE: November 2, 2014
Petitioner Michael Crawford stabbed a man who allegedly tried to rape his wife, Sylvia. At his trial, the State played for the jury Sylvia's tape-recorded statement to the police describing the stabbing, even though Crawford had no opportunity for cross-examination. The State sought to introduce a recorded statement that petitioner's wife Sylvia had made during police interrogation, as evidence that the stabbing was not in self-defense. Sylvia did not testify at trial because of Washington's marital privilege. The tape was played at trial, but she did not testify, testimonial statements are at issue, the only indicium of …show more content…
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. 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.
For several hundred years, one of the great glories of the common law system of criminal justice has been the requirement that prosecution