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'UC Davis Law Review' publishes Buel article

July 22, 2010

An article by Sarah M. Buel, the incoming faculty director of the new Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at the College of Law, recently was published in the UC Davis Law Review.

Entitled “Putting Forfeiture to Work,” the article reports that, despite laws in all 50 states prohibiting witness tampering, perpetrators of intimate violence often use bribery, threats, stalking, assault, rape, murder and other forms of coercion to intimidate potential witnesses against them. One possible response is the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing, through which a defendant who coerces, threatens, or harms a witness with the intention of preventing her testimony against him, forfeits the right to object to the admission of the witness’s hearsay statements at trial. Yet, Buel points out, a recent trilogy of U.S. Supreme Court cases addressing the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause has created considerable confusion about the use of this forfeiture doctrine to confront witness tampering, leading to what she describes as massive underenforcement of witness tampering laws. She argues for a more robust use of this forfeiture doctrine as an appropriate response to the intent-to-silence paradigm.

To read the article, click here.

Before joining the College of Law in 2010, Buel was a clinical professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where she started and co-directed a Domestic Violence Clinic. She is a former prosecutor and a survivor of domestic violence, who has made the issue her lifelong passion, spending the past 32 years working with battered women, abused children and juveniles in the legal system.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law