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Child witnesses and the confrontation clause

The American psychological association brief inMaryland v. Craig

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Law and Human Behavior


InMaryland v. Craig, the United States Supreme Court relied heavily on a brief prepared by a committee of the American Psychology-Law Society on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA brief concluded that sexually abused children may be particularly vulnerable to distress in the legal process, especially when forced to confront the defendant face to face, and that such acute distress may be inconsistent with the state's interests in promotion of reliable testimony and child welfare. APA also argued that psychological theory and research provide foundations for individualized determination of the need for measures to protect children from face-to-face confrontation. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** AFE06051 00002

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Goodman, G.S., Levine, M., Melton, G.B. et al. Child witnesses and the confrontation clause. Law Hum Behav 15, 13–29 (1991).

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