Right Of Accused To Confront Witnesses
What is the Right Of Accused To Confront Witnesses?
The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of someone accused of a crime to be confronted with witnesses against him. This right is usually termed as the confrontation clause.
What Is The Purpose Of Protecting The Right To Be Confronted With Witnessess Against An Accused?
The purpose of securing an accused's right to be confronted with witnesses against him is closely tied with the idea of being innocent until proven guilty. By protecting the accused's right to be confronted with witnesses against him, the accused secures the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. Not only does this enable the accused to challenge the accusations of the witness, but allows the trier of fact (either the judge or jury) to weigh the demeanor of the witness before making a determination on guilt.
What Does The Right To Be Confronted With Witnesses Protect?
There are three protections afforded by the right to be confronted with witnesses:
- the right of confrontation: this right compels the witnesses to stand face-to-face with the accused and appear before him/her in court in order that the credibility of the witness may be judged by the judge or jury
- the right of cross-examination: this is considered the most important of the three protections and allows the accused to challenge the testimony offered by the witness during direct examination
- the right to have testimony offered under sanction of oath: this right assures legal sanctions if the witnesses' accusations are false
Are There Any Instances Where A Witness May Have Privileges Against The Confrontation Clause?
There have been cases where special protection of a particular witness has been required. In those instances, an individual determination that a particular witness needs special protection is required. If special protection has been granted, the witnesses may be privileged from making a face-to-face confrontation with the accused. Special protection is usually afforded to children in a child molestation case or individuals whose life may be threatened if they appear.
Do I Need An Attorney?
If you have been accused of a crime, an experienced criminal attorney will ensure that all your rights are protected, including your right to confront witnesses against you.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 05-13-2011 04:29 PM PDT