Pointer v. Texas
380 U.S. 400 (1965)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Pointer v. Texas, 380 U.S. 400 (1965)

Pointer v. Texas

No. 577

Argued March 15, 1965

Decided April 5, 1965

380 U.S. 400

Syllabus

Petitioner was arrested and brought before a state judge for preliminary hearing on a robbery charge. The complaining witness testified but petitioner, who had no counsel, did not cross-examine. Petitioner was later indicted and tried. The witness had moved to another State, and the transcript of his testimony at the hearing was introduced over petitioner's objections that he was denied the right of confrontation. He was convicted and the highest state court affirmed.

Held:

1. The right granted to an accused by the Sixth Amendment to confront the witnesses against him, which includes the right of cross-examination, is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial and is made obligatory on the States by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 380 U. S. 403-406.

2. The introduction of the transcript in a federal criminal case would have been a clear denial of the right of confrontation, since the statement was made without an adequate opportunity for cross-examination, and the right must be determined by the same standards in a state proceeding. Pp. 380 U. S. 406-408.

375 S.W.2d 293, reversed and remanded.

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