I killed the witness, so don’t admit her statement?

Today, the Supreme Court takes up the question of whether a defendant on trial for murder can assert a Confrontation Clause challenge to statements made by the victim because the victim is unavailable for cross examination.

In Giles v. California, set for oral arguments this morning, the petitioner urges the Court to adopt a view that Confrontation Clause challenges are only barred if the defendant in the case made the witness unavailable for the purpose of keeping him or her from testifying at trial.

Although the defendant, the petitioner in the case, admitted to killing his girlfriend, he said since there were no charges pending against him when he killed her, her prior statements should not have been admitted.

California appellate courts upheld his conviction, and the state urges the Court to adopt the view that a defendant who kills a witness automatically waives any Confrontation Clause objections, no matter the reason for the killing.

More on the case – as well as on any other newsworthy orders and decisions – on this blog and Lawyers USA’s website later. Subscribers can click here for LUSA’s preview.

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