Crawford at sentencing

The CAAF held that there is no right of confrontation at sentencing.  The other rules do apply, such as hearsay, unless you relax the rules (something I rarely if ever do).  United States v. McDonald, 55 M.J. 173 (C.A.A.F. 2001); United States v. George, 52 M.J. 259 (C.A.A.F. 2000).

The question in the title of this post is prompted by a new student note by Amanda Harris, which is titled "Surpassing Sentencing: The Controversial Next Step in Confrontation Clause Jurisprudence" and is available here via the Florida Law Review.  Here is the abstract:

After Crawford v. Washington opened the door to a Confrontation Clause debate in 2004, the United States Supreme Court has consistently confronted confrontation issues arising out of the Crawford interpretation.  One issue that the Supreme Court has not yet tackled is whether the Confrontation Clause applies during non-capital and capital sentencing. While many states and federal courts continue to hold that no right of confrontation during sentencing exists, many other courts have chosen to apply a right of confrontation in both capital and non-capital sentencing.

This Note takes two new approaches to the Confrontation Clause at sentencing debate. First, this Note addresses both the text of the Sixth Amendment and the history surrounding the Confrontation Clause to conclude that the right of confrontation should apply during sentencing, or at least during capital sentencing.  Second, this Note rejects the rationale that Williams v. New York is the controlling precedent in the confrontation at sentencing debate.  Under this approach, applying the Confrontation Clause at sentencing may be the next logical step in Confrontation Clause jurisprudence.

Quoting Prof. Berman TG.

AS THE NOTE POINTS OUT, THIS IS AN ISSUE UNDECIDED BY THE SUPREMES, but that there is a split among some courts.

Object.  You will have to cite to McDonald and George.  Unless that is done the client won’t get a (an admittedly difficult to get) shot at the Supremes.

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