Understanding the Confrontation Clause: Non-Testimonial Statements explained
What is a non-testimonial statement and how does it relate to the Confrontation Clause in Oklahoma? In a recent case from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, the issue of non-testimonial statements came up in relation to potential violations of the Confrontation Clause. Under the Sixth Amendment, individuals have the right to confront their witnesses in court, but not every statement is required to be confronted. It must be a testimonial statement for an individual to be entitled to confrontation.
Defining Testimonial vs. Non-Testimonial Statements
The United States Supreme Court case, Crawford v. Washington, provides the test for determining whether a statement is testimonial or non-testimonial. Testimonial statements are those of a witness who did not appear at trial unless they were unavailable and there was a prior opportunity to cross-examine. On the other hand, non-testimonial statements are those made during an ongoing emergency to describe what is happening in the moment and prevent further harm.
Applying Non-Testimonial Statements in a Domestic Violence Case
In the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals case, the issue of non-testimonial statements arose in a domestic violence situation where the person claiming to be a victim did not testify at trial. The state had gotten in hearsay statements from that person, and the defendant claimed that their right to confrontation had been denied. The court had to determine whether the statements were testimonial or non-testimonial.
The court ultimately determined that the woman’s 911 call alleging domestic violence ongoing was non-testimonial, which meant that the confrontation clause did not apply. This decision provides important guidance for cases involving domestic violence and non-testimonial statements.
Get Personalized Legal Advice
If you have questions about non-testimonial statements, constitutional issues related to criminal prosecution, or other legal matters under Oklahoma law, it’s best to speak with an attorney. At Wirth Law Office, we offer private and confidential consultations to discuss your specific circumstances. Visit makelaweasy.com to schedule your free consultation.