Breaking News: U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Supreme Court of Ohio in Ohio v. Clark.

Read the complete analysis of the merit decision here.

In a 9-0 decision released today, in Ohio v. Clark, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the admission of a young child’s out-of-court statements to his teachers identifying the defendant as his abuser did not violate the Confrontation Clause, even though the child did not testify at the trial.  Read the blog’s background of the case here. Read the U.S. Supreme Court’s merit decision  here.

Here is a quotation from the opening paragraph of the opinion, written by Justice Alito:

“The question in this case is whether the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause prohibited prosecutors from introducing those statements (Professor’s note—the statements made by  the child, L.P., identifying Clark as his abuser to his teachers) when the child was not available to be cross-examined. Because neither the child nor his teachers had the primary purpose of assisting in Clark’s prosecution, the child’s statements do not implicate the Confrontation Clause and therefore were admissible at trial.”

Joining Justice Alito were Chief Justices Roberts, and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. Justice Scalia wrote a separate opinion, concurring in judgment, joined by Justice Ginsburg. Justice Thomas wrote his own opinion, also concurring in judgment.

I’ll do a proper analysis of the merit decision when I have had a chance to read and absorb the decision.

 

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