The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to review the case of a Kent County man convicted of the rape of a 9- and 13-year-old girl. At issue – whether James Henry Buie’s constitutional right to confront his accuser was violated when the Kent County Circuit Court allowed expert testimony via video without Buie’s consent.
The constitution sets forth several guaranteed protections that affect each step of a criminal matter, from investigation to arrest, trial and sentencing. The failure of law enforcement or the justice system to follow these protections may result in charges being thrown-out, or as in this case, require a new trial. It is critical to have a skilled Michigan sex crimes defense lawyer represent as soon as possible to protect against possible constitutional abuses.
Here, the Michigan State Supreme Court will review whether Buie’s Sixth Amendment rights were violated. The 6th Amendment guarantees those accused of a crime the opportunity to confront the witnesses against them. By allowing the use of video taped evidence it is questionable whether Buie was able to “confront” the witnesses as required. The court will also determine if sufficient cause existed to allow video testimony rather than having the experts appear in person, and whether Buie agreed to the use of video testimony.
If you have been charged with a Michigan sex crime, contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney immediately to protect your rights. For more information, please contact the dedicated sex crimes defense law firm, Grabel & Associates for a confidential consultation.