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Giles v. California

Docket No.: 07-6053
Certiorari Granted: 1/11/2008
Argued: April 22, 2008
Decided: June 25, 2008

PartyNames: Dwayne Giles v. California
Petitioner: Dwayne Giles
Respondent: State of California

Court Below: Supreme Court of California

Dwayne Giles
v.
State of California
554 U.S. ____ (2008)
Question Presented:

In Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 62 (2004), this Court recognized that the forfeiture by wrongdoing rule "extinguishes confrontation claims on essentially equitable grounds." The question presented by this case is: Does a criminal defendant "forfeit" his or her Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause claims upon a mere showing that the defendant has caused the unavailability of a witness, as some courts have held, or must there also be an additional showing that the defendant's actions were undertaken for the purpose of preventing the witness from testifying, as other courts have held?

Question:

Are a criminal defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment violated when the common law "forfeiture by wrongdoing" doctrine is applied to allow out-of-court statements made by a witness, absent due to the defendant's own conduct, into evidence without giving defendant an opportunity to cross-examine the absent witness?

Note:

EXPEDITED BRIEFING

Holding: judgment vacated and remanded
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
Read GILES V. CALIFORNIA opinion (PDF)
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