Crawford v. Washington

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In Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Confrontation Clause required the exclusion from evidence of an out-of-court statement by a witness who never testified in court. The reason for her absence was that she could invoke the spousal privilege to protect her defendant husband. But the privilege did not apply to her out-of-court statement, which was introduced under a hearsay exception because it was incriminating to her and was thereby against her penal interest.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the decision for the 7-2 Court. His opinion overruled Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56 (1980).

Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote separately, concurring in the verdict but sharply disagreeing with the logic. He was joined by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.