Michigan Confrontation Clause

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and 20 of article 1 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 grant an accused the right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him." The purpose of the Confrontation Clause is to provide for a face-to-face confrontation between a defendant and his accusers at trial. People v. Bean, 457 Mich 677, 684; 580 NW2d 390 (1998); People v. Dye, 431 Mich 58, 64; 427 NW2d 501 (1988). The right of confrontation is an important right because it enables the trier of fact to judge the witnesses' demeanors. Bean, supra at 682; Dye, supra at 64. When a hearsay declarant is not present for cross-examination at trial, the Confrontation Clause requires a showing that the declarant is unavailable, as well as that the declarant's statement bears satisfactory indicia of reliability. People v. Meredith, 459 Mich 62, 67-68; 586 NW2d 538 (1998). The Confrontation Clause is not violated by the use of preliminary examination testimony as substantive evidence at trial only if the prosecution exercised due diligence to produce the absent witness. Bean, supra at 682-683. Whether the prosecution made a diligent, good-faith effort 4 to produce a missing witness is an evaluation that depends on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. Id. at 684. The test is one of reasonableness, and the focus is whether diligent good faith efforts were made to procure the testimony, not whether more stringent efforts would have produced it. Id.