Can anyone explain this (Criminal Justice question)

AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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What was the rule of evidence law adopted by the U.S Supreme Court in the BRUTON v. UNITED STATES in the decision.

I found this quote

"Holding that a defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights were violated when a non-testifying codefendant’s confession incriminating the defendant is introduced at their joint trial, despite the judge’s jury instruction that the confession was only to be considered against the codefendant."


http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/...ontation-and-compulsory-process/bruton-v-u-s/

Anyone help me with this please?
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
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Yardley, PA
Try here.
ihavenoidea

Even though I work for the Supreme Court, I don't have the mental capacity to look through that. My brain done hurted.
 

AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
3,897
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Try here.
ihavenoidea

Even though I work for the Supreme Court, I don't have the mental capacity to look through that. My brain done hurted.
Could you help explain what this quote means?

"Holding that a defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights were violated when a non-testifying codefendant’s confession incriminating the defendant is introduced at their joint trial, despite the judge’s jury instruction that the confession was only to be considered against the codefendant."
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
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East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
I'm not a lawyer, but I'll take a stab at it anyway.

The Confrontation Clause is from the 6th amendment and allows the accused to have face-to-face confrontation with a witness testifying against them.

My reading is this: Two defendants, A and B. Defendant B confesses to a crime to a third party, and that A assisted in the crime. The two then go to a joint trial. At the trial, the judge issued instructions to the jury that the confession of B is only to be used against defendant B, NOT defendant A. The jury ends up convicting both defendants.

The appeal basically states the initial trial judge was wrong in allowing the witness testimony and then issuing his instructions to the jury. They didn't have proof that the jury used the confession against defendant A, but it was a possibility. Basically, it boiled down to the witness testimony concerning the confession of defendant B being considered hearsay when applied to defendant A, which is not admissible.
 

AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
3,897
1,181
I'm not a lawyer, but I'll take a stab at it anyway.

The Confrontation Clause is from the 6th amendment and allows the accused to have face-to-face confrontation with a witness testifying against them.

My reading is this: Two defendants, A and B. Defendant B confesses to a crime to a third party, and that A assisted in the crime. The two then go to a joint trial. At the trial, the judge issued instructions to the jury that the confession of B is only to be used against defendant B, NOT defendant A. The jury ends up convicting both defendants.

The appeal basically states the initial trial judge was wrong in allowing the witness testimony and then issuing his instructions to the jury. They didn't have proof that the jury used the confession against defendant A, but it was a possibility. Basically, it boiled down to the witness testimony concerning the confession of defendant B being considered hearsay when applied to defendant A, which is not admissible.
Thats exactly what I was thinking. This sounds about right. Thank you!

(finishing up my criminal justice degree by the way)
 

carbonmotion

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2004
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San Francisco, CA
Basically, it boiled down to the witness testimony concerning the confession of defendant B being considered hearsay when applied to defendant A, which is not admissible.
Good work parsing out the issue. Note that not all hearsay is inadmissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Some hearsay maybe admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence because it falls under one of the 40 or so exceptions to hearsay.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Huh. Guess all those episodes of Law and Order I watched finally came in handy. :D

Also, all those years doing tech support have enabled me to translate babble into normal English. I guess it works for law and techno-babble.
 
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