Briggs v. State

In Briggs v. State, 789 S.W.2d 918 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990) the twelve-year-old complaining witness was called by the State to testify, was questioned by the State, and then briefly cross-examined by the defense. The State then offered a videotape of an interview taken some eighteen months earlier at the Texas Department of Human Services, which was admitted. Since the complaining witness was actually called to testify by the State and cross-examined by the defense, the court reasoned that the accused's confrontation rights had been satisfied. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, however, went on to state that former Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Article 38.071, section 2 "may be unconstitutional as applied in certain cases" such as when "a videotape is admitted though 'full and effective cross-examination' of the child witness should prove unattainable at trial." 789 S.W.2d at 922.