The Supreme Court upheld a criminal conviction based on a six-year-old child’s testimony that was displayed in the courtroom by a one-way closed-circuit television rather than given in person.
A Maryland law specified that a judge might allow the testimony of a young child to be televised if the judge determined that the child’s appearance in the courtroom would result in serious emotional distress, preventing the child from reasonably responding to questions. After Sandra Craig was found guilty of child abuse in a trial using this procedure, she asserted that her conviction was unconstitutional because she had not had an opportunity to confront her accuser.
Speaking for a 5-4 majority, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
The Craig decision left many questions unanswered about the use of children’s testimony. In a companion case, Idaho v. Wright
Due process, procedural
Pointer v. Texas
Witnesses, confrontation of