The Confrontation Clause: Get Raleigh Right - Overrule Crawford

4 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2019

Date Written: June 17, 2019


Crawford v. Washington, 542 U.S. 36 (2004), is the latest in a series of misconceived confrontation holdings. Its 'testimonial' hearsay standard has created endless confusion and done nothing to protect the rights of defendants nor the needs of fair jury trials. Constitutional confrontation requires legal sufficiency of proof. A crime may not be proved by hearsay alone. This is not a rule about the admissibility of hearsay evidence. It is a rule responsive to the injustice done to Sir Walter Raleigh mandating proof of criminal guilt by live-witness, personal-knowledge testimony sufficient to warrant conviction. Overruling Crawford and replacing it with a proper judicial understanding of the Sixth Amendment will rationalize confrontation law and restore the centrality of jury process to American criminal justice.

Suggested Citation

Nesson, Fern L. and Nesson, Charles R., The Confrontation Clause: Get Raleigh Right - Overrule Crawford (June 17, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Fern L. Nesson

Harvard Law School '71 ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Charles R. Nesson (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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