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Fairness to the End: The Right to Confront Adverse Witnesses in Capital Sentencing Proceedings

NCJ Number
Columbia Law Review Volume: 89 Issue: 6 Dated: (October 1989) Pages: 1345-1373
C K Tahbaz
Date Published
29 pages
In order to minimize the arbitrary imposition of the death penalty, a capital defendant should not be denied his sixth amendment right of confrontation during the penalty phase of a bifurcated capital sentencing procedure.
A capital defendant is permitted to exercise his sixth amendment right of confrontation during the guilt phase of his trial. Current law and practice in several States regarding the confrontation right in capital sentencing hearings is discussed, along with capital sentencing jurisprudence relying on eighth amendment and due process interests. Because the sixth amendment confrontation clause protects interest similar to those identified for protection by the U.S. Supreme Court in capital sentencing, it is reasonable to argue for protecting these interests by extending the confrontation guarantee of the sixth amendment to the capital offender's sentencing proceeding. 156 footnotes.