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Episode 147             Episode 149
Episode 148

Washington v. Texas
Sat, 2017-Sep-30 00:14 UTC
Length - 2:56

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 30 September 2017 is Washington v. Texas.

Washington v. Texas, 388 U.S. 14 (1967), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court decided that the Compulsory Process Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution (guaranteeing the right of a criminal defendant to force the attendance of witnesses for their side) is applicable in state courts as well as federal courts. Jackie Washington had attempted to call his co-defendant as a witness, but was blocked by Texas courts because state law prevented co-defendants from testifying for each other, under the theory that they would be likely to lie for each other on the stand.

The Supreme Court reasoned that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment made the right to be able to compel defense witnesses to testify necessary for a defendant's "due process" rights to fair proceedings, which applies to the states. Only Justice John Marshall Harlan II parted from the Court's "due process" focus, though he agreed with the outcome, as he regularly did in cases involving whether to apply federal rights to state courts.

The impact of Washington was narrowed by a later case, Taylor v. Illinois (1988), in which the Court said that "countervailing public interests", like the need to move through cases quickly, could be balanced against a defendant's right to present witnesses. In Taylor, the Supreme Court upheld a judge's order blocking defense witnesses from testifying due to the defense attorney's deliberate failure to disclose evidence to prosecutors earlier in the trial. The defense attorney's actions resulted in a lengthy delay in the proceedings which the trial judge felt was unjustified. Legal scholars have seen this new grant of discretion to trial judges as a change to relying on "efficient justice", a more limited vision of trial rights than the "right to present a defense" created in Washington.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:14 UTC on Saturday, 30 September 2017.

For the full current version of the article, go to

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