In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury and to be confronted with the witnesses against him. That impartial jury decides the ultimate question of guilt or innocence based, often in large part, on confrontation by cross-examination of witnesses hostile to the defendant —the ultimate tool to test the witnesses’ truth-telling. The Confrontation Clause requires the witness who is adverse to the defendant “to submit to cross-examination, the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth. The central concern of the Confrontation Clause is to ensure the reliability of the evidence against a criminal defendant by subjecting it to rigorous testing in the context of an adversary proceeding before the trier of fact.
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