Thursday, November 21, 2019

Hearsay & Crawford v. Washington Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Hearsay & Crawford v. Washington - Assignment Example There are several methods used for impeachment in a court of law and these include bias, character, inconsistent statement, contradiction and competency. The court allows demonstration of bias through cross-examination for impeachment, and this involves use of personal interests such as financial stake, blood relations among others to catalyze witness bias. Similarly, character is an impeachment method that focuses on demonstrating bad character such as prior conviction or non intrinsic evidence. Inconsistent statement involves use of prior statements that do not match the current testimony for impeachment, and these may also be used as substantive evidence. On the other hand, contradiction as a method of impeachment is where the witness says two or more contradicting statements in the same testimony. Finally, competency is the impeachment method where the witness lacks the required mental capacity, or he/she cannot sense what he claims to have. The Federal Rules if Evidence defines hearsay as, "a statement, other than one made by the  declarant  while  testifying  at the  trial  or  hearing, offered in  evidence  to prove the truth of the matter asserted" (Federal Rules of Evidence, 2009). Therefore, hearsay is out-of-court evidence and thus allowing it in a court trial interferes with the methods of testing credibility. For instance, testimonial hearsay does not give a chance for impeachment of the witness in order to determine the credibility of the evidence. The Sixth Amendment states that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the be confronted with the witnesses against him† (US Supreme Court Media, 2004).  However, in some cases the court allows evidence from out-of-the-court testimony on grounds that it should be reliable evidence. This is exemplified in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2004, on the case of Crawford v. Washington. Crawford, together with his wife, Sylvia, confronted and stabbed a ma n, Lee, who allegedly raped his wife. During the trial, Miranda was unable to testify as a result of the marital privilege rule of Washington, and thus, her statement was presented for the jury in the form of recorded evidence. As a result, Crawford was denied the opportunity to cross-examine witness as provided for in the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Hence, argued that the court violated the Confrontation Clause by allowing his wife’s recorded-statement to be used in the trial, and thus denying him a chance for cross-examination. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court reformulated the standards for the inclusion of hearsay statements in criminal trials under the Sixth Amendment. According to the court, cross-examination is required only to admit a witness’s prior testimonial statements, which was unavailable in the case of Crawford v. Washington. Crawford v. Washington Supreme Court’s decision relied on the Ohio v. Roberts U. S. Supreme Courtâ⠂¬â„¢s decision of 1980. In this decision, the court allowed use of out-of-court testimony against the defendant so long as the testimony was reliable. On those grounds, the court determined that Sylvia’s statement was reliable and thus could be used as evidence in the trial. The trial court noted that the evidence was trustworthy and gave reasons to support its use in the criminal case against Crawford. For example, Sylvia and Crawford were interrogated separately, and the statements

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