Confrontation, Right of

views updated


The confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees an accused person the right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him," is one of the two clauses in the bill of rights that explicitly address the right of criminal defendants to elicit evidence in their defense from witnesses at trial. The other clause is its Sixth Amendment companion, the compulsory process clause, which guarantees the accused the right to "compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor." Together these two clauses provide constitutional foundations for the right of accused persons to defend themselves through the production and examination of witnesses at trial.

Peter Westen

(see also: Hearsay Rule.)