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Richardson v. Marsh
United States Supreme Court
481 U.S. 200 (1987)
Clarissa Marsh, Benjamin Williams, and Kareem Martin (defendants) were suspected of assault and murder. Over Marsh’s objection, Marsh and Williams were tried jointly for the crimes. Marsh testified that she was innocent. Williams did not testify, but Williams’s earlier confession to police was redacted to delete all mention of Marsh and admitted into evidence. The jury was repeatedly instructed not to hold Williams’s confession against Marsh. Nevertheless, the confession did implicate Marsh when connected with other evidence at trial. Marsh was convicted of murder, robbery, and assault, and her conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. Marsh filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that the admission of Williams’s confession violated her Sixth Amendment rights. The district court denied the petition, but the appellate court reversed and held that the admission of Williams's confession violated the Confrontation Clause. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on this issue.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
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