New Law Allowing TV Testimony Could Face Legal Challenge

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Publish Date:
August 13, 2017
Author(s):
  • Catalini, Michael
Source:
U.S. News & World Report (AP)
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Summary

Victims and witnesses in criminal domestic violence cases in New Jersey can now testify by closed-circuit television under a new law enacted by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, yet the measure could face legal challenges, according to lawmakers and experts.

The legislation passed the Democrat-led Assembly and Senate without any opposition and puts New Jersey in a class with at least one other state — Delaware — to allow television testimony from witnesses of any age. New York is also currently considering similar legislation. Other states allow such testimony for minors.

The Supreme Court upheld a law allowing minors to testify remotely only narrowly and the court in 2004 strengthened the so-called Confrontation Clause, Jeffrey Fisher, a Stanford University law professor, said.

“I would fully expect the law to be challenged. And it’ll be a very serious challenge,” he said. “There’s no historical or legal precedent for this counting as confrontation.”

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