Friday, December 22, 2006

S.C. Supreme Court holds that Crawford v. Washington does not apply to a probation revocation proceeding

The United States Supreme Court has banned out-of-court testimonial statements from criminal trials unless the witness is unavailable to testify, and the defendant had a prior opportunity to cross-examine the witness. See Crawford v. Washington. In State v. Pauling, Pauling argued that the State violated Crawford v. Washington at his probation revocation hearing when it improperly relied on the arrest warrants and affidavits of police officers and investigators related to charges on which he had yet to be tried.

Concluding that a revocation proceeding is not a criminal prosecution, the Court of Appeals held that Sixth Amendment rights forming the basis of Crawford v. Washington are not implicated. A person convicted of a crime is still restrained within the confines of his probation, he does not enjoy the same unfettered constitutional privileges available to those not so confined.

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