Despite the simplicity and apparent straightforward language of the confrontation clause in the United States Constitution, its constitutional dimensions are not easily discernible. An aura of conflict and confusion surrounds this doctrine. The impetus for the framers of the Constitution to include the right of confrontation for the protection of criminal defendants purportedly was rooted in defects noted at the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, but even this has not gone without dispute. It was over 100 years after the adoption of the sixth amendment that the United States Supreme Court was faced with the opportunity to comment on the constitutional dimensions of this doctrine. This has been followed by increased comment and attempted refinement up to the present time. Most recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was faced with the confrontation issue when the extrajudicial statement of an uncooperative witness, which implicated the defendant, was introduced for impeachment purposes. The court accepted the task and disposed of the issues with deceptive ease. This Note critically examines the court's decision sanctioning the use of the extrajudicial statement and its handling of the confrontation issue raised by its decision.
Robert L. Bals,
The Right to Confrontation: One Step beyond Bruton: United States v. Rogers, 549 F.2d 490 (8th Cir. 1976),
56 Neb. L. Rev. 936
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol56/iss4/9