Wednesday, June 5, 2019
The Compulsory Process Clause Of The Sixth Amendment Essay Example for Free
The Compulsory Process Clause Of The Sixth Amendment EssayThe sixth amendment to the U. S. Constitution guarantees the defendant compulsory process. 1 For this provision was ignored, until the Supreme homage gave it life in capital of the United States v. Texas, 388 U. S. 14 (1967). One night, Jackie Washington learned a girl he was dating, Jean Carter, was seeing another boy. Angry, Washington and Charles flooded got a shotgun and drove to Carters house. Leaving others in their car, Washington and riddled got out, with Washington carrying the shotgun. Moments later, the shotgun was fired, killing Carters boyfriend. Fuller and Washington ran to the car, with Fuller now holding the shotgun. Fuller was charged with murder, convicted, and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Texas then brought Washington to trial for murder. At his trial, Washington testified that as he approached the house, he realized that what he was doing was crazy, and decided to go back. Fuller, drunk, grabbed the shotgun, saying he was going to shoot someone. Washington tried to get Fuller to leave, but Fuller insisted on going on. Washington then ran towards the car.He was running away when the shotgun was fired. At the trial, Washington then tried to c alone Fuller as a own to corroborate his story, but the prosecution objected. Under a Texas law, if the prosecution had called Fuller as a witness against Washington, he could testify, but Washington was debar from presenting Fuller as a witness. Fuller, who was present in the courtroom, was not allowed to testify. Washington was convicted of murder. Washington appealed, arguing that he had not been accorded his right to compulsory process.Texas responded that Washington had been accorded all compulsory process entitled him to. Because Fuller was in prison at the time of the trial, Washingtons attorney had issued a subpoena to have him come on in court to testify. Texas authorities had complied with the subpoena. They had brought Full er from the prison to the court, so that he was in the courtroom, though barred from testifying. Texas insisted that this was compulsory process. The Supreme Court ruled nemine contradicente that this was not constitutionally sufficient.Compulsory process would mean little if it gave the defendant only the right to bring to the courtroom persons who could not testify. The Constitution did not forge such hollow gestures. For the compulsory process clause to be meaningful, the defendant had to have the right to have his witnesses appear and testify, so that the jury could hear what the witness had to say. Texas justified its rule by arguing that its statute was meant to protect against witnesses who would lie for one another. In this instances, Fuller had been convicted.But what if Fuller had been found not red-handed and then in Washingtons trial confessed his own guilt while exonerating Washington. However persuasive this argument seemed, the Court rejected it, insisting that is sues of the credibleness of a witness were for the jury to decide. A rule which denied a defendant a right promised in the Bill of Rights could not stand where it was based on the unproved and unprovable presumption that any given class of defense witnesses were presumed to be unbelievable.If Fuller was such an unbelievable witness if he was testifying for Washington, why was he presumed truthful if testifying against him? The better policy, the Court insisted, the policy which the Constitution required was to allow all witnesses who had relevant and material evidence to testify, letting the jury find the truth. This case, Washington v. Texas, made the concept of compulsory process as guaranteed by the sixth amendment an important part of a modern justice system.