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COMPULSORY PROCESS OF DEFENSE WITNESSES

Sixth Amendment “compulsory process clause” guarantees a defendant the right to have the attendance and testimony of witnesses in his behalf. Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284, 302 (1973) [overturning state “voucher” rule]; Webb v. Texas, 409 U.S. 95, 97-98 (1972) [ judges unnecessarily strong admonition regarding perjury law had effect of exerting “such duress on the witness’ mind as to preclude him from making a free and voluntary choice whether or not to testify”]; U.S. v. Bailey, 834 F.2d 219 (1st Cir. 1987) [ defendant accused of trying to bribe a juror should not be denied the chance to interview other members of the jury panel to ascertain the character of the juror making the accusation].

Admonition to defense witness by court or prosecution which interferes with witness’ “free and unhampered determination . . . as to whether to testify and if so as to the content of such testimony” constitutes a deprivation of the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to “compulsory process”. Webb v. Texas, 409 U.S. 95 (1972) [noting court’s admonition]; U.S. v. Thomas, 488 F.2d 334 (6th Cir. 1973) [noting government agent’s admonition]; U.S. v. Morrison, 535 F.2d 223, 228 (3d Cir. 1976) [noting prosecutor’s admonition]; U.S. v. Henricksen, 564 F.2d 197 (5th Cir. 1977) [noting plea bargain of co-defendant included promise not to testify].

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