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Tag Archives: confrontation clause

Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Bruton – Co-Defendant’s Statement – Redaction (access required)

State v. McDonald Once co-defendant Cannon’s statement to police was redacted to replace the other defendants’ names with the words “another person”, the statement only implicated its maker; moreover, it did not limit the participants to three, which would have implicated the three defendants on trial.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Comments to Social Worker – Not Testimonial (access required)

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 – Gang-Related Crimes – Constitutional — Confrontation Clause – Anonymous Witnesses (access required)

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 to the defense.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Attorneys – Ineffective Assistance – Guilt-Phase Cross-Examination – Now-Deceased Witness – New Trial (access required)

State v. Nance In a prior trial, defense counsel ineffectively executed a strategy of not contesting guilt and of mitigating defendant’s actions in an attempt to avoid the death penalty. We awarded a new trial, and the only eyewitness has now passed away. Defense counsel’s strategy in the original trial of not cross-examining the eyewitness was not ineffective, and, at defendant’s new trial, the late eyewitness’ testimony may be read to the jury without violating defendant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause. We reverse the trial court’s order granting defendant’s motion to suppress the eyewitness’ testimony from the original trial.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Sentencing – Mail Fraud (access required)

U.S. v. Powell A defendant convicted of mail fraud for his scheme of selling electronics over the Internet, who pocketed the money without shipping the products, is not entitled to resentencing because the district court used hearsay to conclude defendant had harmed more than 10 people and caused just under $200,000 in damages; the 4th Circuit joins its sister circuits to hold that the Confrontation Clause does not apply at sentencing proceedings.

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