SCOTUS child testimony case: A ‘win-win-win’ solution

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the Ohio v. Clark child testimony case on March 2, Stephen Ceci, a Cornell University expert on children’s cognitive development, and Richard Friedman, an expert on the Confrontation Clause at the University of Michigan Law School, have submitted a brief to the court proposing a constitutionally appropriate remedy that protects the defendant’s right to challenge evidence and shields children from the trauma of testifying in court.

 

They say:

 

“Children should not be treated the same as adult witnesses; instead their statements should be handled similarly to evidence from non-human sources. Defendants should have the right to select a qualified forensic examiner to interview the child, under court-approved procedures, to assess the validity of his or her account.”

 

“This is a win-win-win solution. It ensures that important evidence from children is evaluated and considered at trial, preserves the defendant’s right to examine child statements in a meaningful way, and guards children from the emotional damage of courtroom testimony and cross-examination.”

 

The brief is available at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rdfrdman/13-1352.bsac.Friedman.pdf

 

For interviews contact:

Melissa Osgood

office: 607-255-2059

cell: 716-860-0587

mmo59@cornell.edu

 

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.

 

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