/ June 26, 2008

Justices Follow in Law Lords Footsteps

In some what of a follow up to “Law Lords Come to the Defense of Defendants”, the Supreme Court made a similar decision to that of the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary this week by ruling that a defendant has the right to question their accuser no matter what the reason for the witness’ absence. In the case of Giles v. California, a statement from Dwayne Giles girlfriend, whose murder he confessed to, was used as evidence of his intent to kill. While he invoked his right to confront all witnesses through the 6th amendment, the Supreme Court of California ruled that this right was no longer valid considering he was the cause of her absence. After an appeal to the high court and arguments heard in April, the justices have granted Giles with a new trial, this time only admitting testimony from witnesses who are present. Although Giles already confessed to the murder, without the testimony from his girlfriend it would be difficult to convict him of murder in the first degree. Just as in the UK, many are concerned that this decision will keep victims from coming forward in the future with information that would be helpful in convicting dangerous criminals.

Source: Yahoo!News

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