§5.31 Spousal Testimonial Privilege

C. Mueller, L. Kirkpatrick, & L. Richter, Evidence §5.31 (6th ed. Wolters Kluwer 2018)

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2018-66

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-66

8 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2018

See all articles by Christopher B. Mueller

Christopher B. Mueller

University of Colorado Law School

Laird C. Kirkpatrick

George Washington University - Law School

Liesa Richter

University of Oklahoma - College of Law

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

This article addresses the spousal testimonial privilege. It discusses the rationale and history of the privilege as well as its current requirements. The privilege allows a spouse to refuse to testify against the other spouse in a criminal proceeding, but does not allow a criminal defendant to block the testimony by his or her spouse if the testifying spouse chooses to waive the privilege. The privilege requires a lawful marriage and does not apply to sham marriages.

Keywords: spousal privileges, marital privileges, spousal testimonial privilege, sham marriages, testimony by spouse

Suggested Citation

Mueller, Christopher B. and Kirkpatrick, Laird C. and Richter, Liesa, §5.31 Spousal Testimonial Privilege (2018). C. Mueller, L. Kirkpatrick, & L. Richter, Evidence §5.31 (6th ed. Wolters Kluwer 2018); GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2018-66; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-66. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277039 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3277039

Christopher B. Mueller

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Laird C. Kirkpatrick (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Liesa Richter

University of Oklahoma - College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States

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