Brief filed: 12/18/2020
Hemphill v. New York
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 20-637
Decision below People v. Hemphill, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 3567 (N.Y. 2020)
Broad forfeiture rules chill vital defense arguments. Broad forfeiture rules force defendants into a Hobson’s choice between constitutional rights. Broad forfeiture rules undermine the institution of the criminal trial. NACDL submits this brief in support of the petition for certiorari because the issue presented in this case—whether a criminal defendant who “opens the door” to responsive evidence also forfeits the right to exclude evidence otherwise barred by the Confrontation Clause—is of paramount importance to criminal defense attorneys throughout the country and the clients they represent.
Nicholas D. Marais, Melissa L. Cornell, L. Nicole Allan, and Taylor L. Reeves, Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP, San Francisco, CA; Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.