This Article examines the implications of Giles v. California. It begins in Part II by examining the Confrontation Clause before Giles, and explains how Crawford v. Washington upended the Clause's prior interpretation in Ohio v. Roberts, by excluding all "testimonial" statements, however "trustworthy" a court might consider them to be. It then provides a brief explanation of the forfeiture doctrine and its endorsement in Crawford. Part III consists of a detailed examination and critique of the Court's resolution of the central issue in Giles: that the forfeiture doctrine applies only when the prosecution can show that the defendant killed the victim-declarant with the intent of preventing her from testifying. It scrutinizes the majority, two concurrences, and dissent, and posits that because of the content of the opinions, the view garnered only a conditional majority at best. Part IV explores how the forfeiture issue should be litigated, and in particular, how a prosecutor should attempt to satisfy the Giles "intent to silence" requirement in a variety of contexts: domestic homicides, domestic assaults, and crimes unrelated to domestic relationships. It also provides an overview of the hearsay exceptions that will often overcome a defendant's hearsay exception. Part V shows how four of the Giles opinions can be read to evince a willingness to either reconsider or narrow the definition of testimonial. Part VI provides a brief conclusion.
Clifford S. Fishman, Confrontation, Forfeiture, and Giles v. California: an Interim User’s Guide, 58 CATH. U. L. REV. 703 (2009).