Amanda Harris, Surpassing Sentencing: The Controversial Next Step in Confrontation Clause Jurisprudence

64 Fla. L. Rev. 1447 |

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.

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