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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

US Supremes to Hear Indiana Case on Criminal Law

Hammon v. Indiana One of Two Cases to Clarify 2004 Crawford Decision Limiting Use of Statements

by Linda Greenhouse of
The New York Times:
The Supreme Court's decisions, in the two cases it accepted on Monday for argument in March, will govern proceedings in state and federal courtrooms. The decisions will require the justices to interpret the Sixth Amendment's "confrontation clause," which gives defendants the right to confront their accusers.

It was this right that Justice Antonin Scalia, in his opinion for the court in the Crawford case, said was inadequately protected by the decision that the Crawford ruling overturned. The earlier decision, Ohio v. Roberts, from 1980, permitted the use of statements from absent witnesses as long as the trial judge regarded the statement as having "adequate indicia of reliability."

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