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Cross v. Hardy, 09-1666

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By FindLaw Staff on January 13, 2011 4:18 PM

Habeas relief granted to defendant convicted of sexual assault

Cross v. Hardy, 09-1666, concerned a defendant's petition for habeas relief from his conviction for sexual assault on retrial, challenging the trial court's finding that the complainant was unavailable and thus permitted the admission of her testimony from the first trial during the second trial.

In granting the petition, the court reversed the conviction and remanded the matter in concluding that, under the circumstances of this case, where the complainant's testimony was critical and the state neglected to subpoena her despite knowing that she was extremely reluctant to testify, the state did not sufficiently demonstrate that it acted in good faith.  The court also held that the state's duplicative efforts and its failure to more thoroughly investigate were also insufficient to protect defendant's Sixth Amendment rights.

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