Wrapping up our series on the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, we’re talking about the confrontation clause. If you’re new to this series, check out our blogs on your right to an impartial jury, assistance of counsel, a speedy trial, and notice of accusation. We’re reviewing some of the important aspects of this amendment because if you want to discuss civil rights, fight for them, and protect them, you need to know what they are. So, with that in mind, let’s review the confrontation clause.
Confrontation Clause Basics
First, let’s look at what this clause says. We read in the Sixth Amendment, “…the accused shall enjoy the right… to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” In other words, during a criminal trial, the defendant has the right to face their accuser and have them cross-examined. Furthermore, it often includes rejecting someone’s testimony unless it can be corroborated with other evidence. For example, let’s say you live and work in Mount Holly, NJ and someone claims to have witnessed you stealing in Philadelphia. Yet, if no evidence exists to suggest you were in Philadelphia or anything related to a theft, then you cannot be convicted based upon that one person’s testimony. Rather, other evidence needs to exist to support their testimony. Thankfully, this principle has a long history. The US Supreme Court cite Numbers 35:30 and Acts 25:16 in the Bible, as well as Shakespeare’s Richard II.
Confrontation Clause and You
Second, what could the confrontation clause have to do with your case? Well, it’s important to recognize that you cannot be condemned for a crime based upon the testimony of one person. After all, if someone has something against you, they can just create a lie. However, what if some circumstantial evidence seems to support their lie? Fortunately, if you have a skilled lawyer, they can use cross-examination to expose the lie. If a key witness’ testimony proves to be a lie, that can get you off. But if you have any average lawyer, they might not have the skills for an effective cross-examination.
Mark Catanzaro is Your Defense Attorney!
Finally, where can you find the best attorney? Mark Catanzaro, of course! He has a reputation for conducting fierce and powerful cross-examinations. He takes advantage of the confrontation clause to defend his clients. So contact him today!