Child Testimony Via Two-Way Closed Circuit Television: A New Perspective on Maryland v. Craig in United States v. Turning Bear and United States v. Bordeaux

June 16, 2012

For Confrontation Clause purposes, child testimony by two-way closed circuit television is substantively different from one-way closed circuit television. Two-way closed circuit testimony is preferable because it more closely approximates face-to-face confrontation. The Supreme Court’s case-specific holding in Maryland v. Craig was directed at one-way closed circuit testimony. As such, the Eighth Circuit was mistaken in conflating the two forms of testimony when it relied on Craig to overturn both United States v. Turning Bear and United States v. Bordeaux, and was similarly mistaken in holding that ยง 3509 of the Child Victims’ and Witnesses’ Rights statute was unconstitutional to the extent it conflicted with Craig.