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Fine Points of the Law



The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed in June that defendants have a constitutional right to cross-examine witnesses against them and must get a new trial if denied that right. The challenger was Dwayne Giles, who had tried during his trial to keep incriminating statements by his girlfriend out of court, in that she was not available for him to cross-examine. The reason for her unavailability was that she is dead, and Giles was being tried for her murder. Hence, her statements suggesting Giles' motive cannot be used in court.

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