When Evidence is Constitutionally Required

Three cases - United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal, 458 U.S. 858 (1982), Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308, and Rock v. Arkansas, 483 U.S. 44 (1987) - form the core of the Supreme Court precedent that defines when evidence is constitutionally required.

In all these cases, the Supreme Court held that a trial court must admit defense evidence if it is 1) relevant, 2) material, and 3) favorable to the defense case. The defense must demonstrate relevancy, materiality, and favorability. Furthermore, the Court will pay special heed to defense attempts to cross-examine government witnesses with evidence of bias or a motive to fabricate (Davis) and is more likely to find constitutional error if the witness is a key to the government's case (Davis). The Court has likewise recognized that evidence offered by an accused who testifies on his own behalf deserves heightened constitutional protection (Rock). More importantly, military appellate courts have relied upon these precedents to determine when evidence is constitutionally required to be admitted under MRE 412(b)(1)(C).

If you have been charged with a crime and would like the legal advice of a Hawaii court martial military defense lawyer then you should contact Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC today. Our legal team is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

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