Lindsay Brewer

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The 2004 United States Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Washington reformulated the standard for determining when the admission of hearsay' statements in criminal cases is permitted under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The majority held that the Confrontation Clause operates to exclude out-of-court statements that are "testimonial" in nature, unless the person making the statement is unavailable to testify and the defendant has had an opportunity for cross-examination. Chief Justice Rehnquist, who concurred in the judgment, expressed concerns that the decision would lead to uncertainty in future criminal trials because the Court did not provide a definition of "testimonial." Davis v. Washington and its companion case Hammon v. Indiana comprise the Supreme Court's attempt to begin shaping a workable framework for determining whether an out-of-court statement is "testimonial" or "nontestimonial." In Davis and Hammon the Court addressed the issue of whether certain types of statements made to law enforcement officers or personnel are "testimonial" and thus subject to the Confrontation Clause.

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