Supreme Court Commentaries
Civil Rights, Constitutional Interpretation
Constitutional Law | Law
In Crawford v. Washington, the Supreme Court declared that an accused right under the Constitution to confront the witnesses against him applied only to “testimonial statements.” That decision, however, did not attempt to fully define the scope of testimonial statements. This commentary analyzes Ohio v. Clark, a case which will decide the question of whether statements made by a child to a person with a duty to report allegations of child abuse are testimonial statements. In this case a young child was questioned at school by a teaching assistant about his injuries. This statement was then offered in the criminal trial of the accused abuser without the child testifying. The Author argues that this statement, applying the test of Davis v. Washington, qualifies as non-testimonial and so survives the challenge under the Confrontation Clause.
Mesha Sloss, Ohio v. Clark: Testimonial Statements Under the Confrontation Clause, 10 Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar 161-181 (2015)