The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing the case of Giles vs. California. The case will be argued on April 23 with final decision hopefully announced in summer. The decision on the Giles case will have a huge impact on Mark’s appeal and new trial.
The Supreme Court will review whether the Confrontation Clause permits the hearsay statement of a witness who is unavailable for trial because the defendant killed her – even though he did not intend to silence her testimony when he killed her.
This is known as the “forfeiture by wrongdoing” exception. It allows out-of-court statements to be used at trial even when the defendant cannot confront the witness against him. The statements are allowed on the equitable grounds that the defendant should not be able to benefit from his own wrongdoing.
The forfeiture by wrongdoing should not be applied to Mark because he didn’t kill her to keep her silent, nor did he know she wrote the letter.