case study 2

Related to concepts covered in Chapters 11 and 12.

Questions: Hearsay and the right to confront witnesses.

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Follow the Oyez Project link to see the entire text of the case.

Note* In addition to audio recordings of the arguments and opinions on the Oyez site, the full written opinion of court’s decision is located at the bottom of the Oyez site page below the photos of the justices.

After reviewing the case, submit your answers to the following 6 questions. You only have to answer the multiple choice questions with the letter of your answer. Be detailed and thoughtful on the Essay Questions.


on writ of certiorari to the supreme court of michigan

[February 28, 2011]

Oyez Project link:


1. This case asks the court to examine ___________.

a. whether the statements made were made as part of an ongoing emergency
b. whether the statements made were hearsay
c. whether the Confrontation Clause applies to dying declarations
d. whether the Confrontation Clause applies to out of court testimony

2. Justice Scalia would adopt a test that examined the __________.

a. primary purpose of the police in questioning
b. the primary purpose of the declarant in making the statement
c. primary purposes of both the interrogator (police) and the declarant
d. primary purpose of both the interrogator and the declarant, but only rely on the declarant if there was mixed motive

3. Which of the following cases rejected a reliability approach used by the Court and re-established the pre-eminence of the Confrontation Clause over hearsay rules and exceptions?

a. Ohio v. Roberts
b. Davis v. Washington
c. Hammon v. Indiana
d. Crawford v. Washington

4. In this case the Court determined that the statements by Covington were _________.

a. testimonial because they were made to respond to an ongoing emergency
b. were non-testimonial because they were made to respond to an ongoing emergency
c. were reliable and thus did not violate the Confrontation Clause
d. not available from the record since the case was decided before the Confrontation Clause was enacted

5. According to the majority opinion, the Michigan Supreme Court erred in several respects. What were these errors, and do you disagree with the Court’s assessment?

6.Justice Scalia argues that the majority opinion resurrects the Courts earlier holdings on reliability. Do you agree that this is the effect? Do you think it is the intent of the majority to do so?

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