The Confrontation Blog is devoted to reporting and commenting n developments related to Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004). Crawford transformed the doctrine of the Confrontation Clause, but it left many open questions that are, and will continue to be, the subject of a great deal of litigation and academic commentary. The author, Ralph W. Aigler, is a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.
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Last month, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights decided Al-Khawaja and Tahery v United Kingdom. This is an obviously important decision, and I have thought to write a post about it, but I haven't had time. So I've asked William E. O’Brian, Jr., an American lawyer who is an...
Here is the Cellmark report, taken from the public files of the United States Supreme Court in Williams v. Illinois. A few points about it:First, it seems to me that simply looking at the report demonstrates whatever degree of formality any justice is likely to require for a statement to be...
Several readers have pointed me to a decision made on Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. v. Summers, 2011 WL 6276085. Here are a summary and some thoughts.Summers was charged with drug-related crimes. The stuff was allegedly found in a black North Face jacket that...
Yesterday, the Court of Appeals of Maryland issued its decision in Derr v. State, 2011 WL 4483937, a case very similar to Williams. This is a very useful opinion, rejecting numerous theories offered by the State that we may see once again in Williams. The court rejects the theories that -- the...
I will soon post the Cellmark report, which a friend has gotten for me from the publicly available files of the U.S. Supreme Court.Before doing so, though, I want to note an issue that I had to resolve before posting the report. After I announced my intention on this blog to post it, I was given...
The Supreme Court issued a summary decision today in a Confrontation Clause case, Hardy v. Cross. Cross was tried on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. The alleged victim, referred to as A.S., testified at trial, but in a way that the Seventh Circuit, 632 F.3d 356 (2011), later called...
Once again I'm writing on the question of where the Confrontation Clause should be treated categorically and where as a balance.In United States v. El-Mezain, issued on December 7, a unanimous panel of the Fifth Circuit upheld a trial court decision allowing two prosecution witnesses to testify...
A few years ago, I posted a couple of messages on the issue of whether Muslim women should be allowed to testify while wearing a niqab, covering the face except for the eyes. One concerned a Canadian case, and the other commented on the adoption by the Supreme Court of Michigan of a rule,...
Because the Cellmark report was never formally introduced at the Williams trial, it was never made part of the record. But it is, of course, at the center of the case before the Supreme Court. (One might call it the Hamlet of the Supreme Court case.) Several weeks ago, Williams’ counsel wrote to...
I have no doubt that Cellmark runs very proficient labs. But blog reader Patsy Myers points out that if you do a search for "Cellmark falsified evidence" you come up with a pretty substantial set of problems that they have encountered in the past. For example, the company has not been immune to...