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The Champion

January/February 2006 , Page 18 

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The Kid Gloves Are Off : Child Hearsay After Crawford v. Washington

By Daniel E Monnat

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As readers of The Champion are well aware, in Crawford v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court radically changed the way the Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause is analyzed.1 As this issue goes to press, the Court is waiting for merits briefs in its first post-Crawford Sixth Amendment cases.2 These cases are sure to offer some elucidation of Crawford, but they may not be decided for some time yet, and neither involves child hearsay. While the Court will likely address child hearsay in light of Crawford at some point in the future, counsel faced with such evidence today must struggle with a wide range of child-hearsay issues that have arisen since Crawford. This article will address those issues and offer arguments for keeping accusatory child hearsay out of court.

The bottom line of Crawford is:

Where testimonial evidence is at issue . . . the Sixth Amendment demands what the common law required: unavailability and a prior opportunity for cross-examination.3 

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