Tag Archives: cross examination

The Supreme Court Speaks and a Clarified Area of the Law…Becomes a Little Less Clear: The Constitution’s Confrontation Clause and Williams v. Illinois

From a defense viewpoint, one of the highlights of Supreme Court jurisprudence over the last decade or so has been a trio of cases dealing with a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him (or her).

In the three cases, Crawford v. Washington, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts and Bullcoming v. New Mexico, the Court imposed and maintained stringent limits on a prosecutor’s ability to admit forensic-type evidence while circumventing the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause right to cross-examine. The actual evidence at issue in each of the three cases was different: Crawford (a tape recording), Melendez-Diaz (a state forensic laboratory report) and Bullcoming (a blood alcohol report).

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