Hofstra Law Review


Irving Younger


Hearsay is an out-of-court declaration offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. It is inadmissible because it is uncrossexamined and hence too unreliable for the jury to consider. Where some substitute for cross-examination provides an alternative assurance of reliability, the rule against hearsay may give way and the out-of-court declaration be admitted under one or another of the exceptions to the rule. But hearsay it remains. The evidence is received despite the lack of cross-examination.

Concerning confrontation, the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right... to be confronted with the witnesses against him." Since an out-of-court declarant cannot be confronted, is hearsay ever admissible against the defendant in a criminal case? What, in short, is the relationship between confrontation and hearsay?

Several times over the past seven years, the Supreme Court has taken up this question. Its opinions demonstrate that the Court has yet to find a satisfactory answer

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.