KY: Confrontation clause doesn’t apply in suppression hearings

The Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause doesn’t apply to a suppression hearing to get the typical CI on the stand to attack his reliability. [Now, if the CI was a material witness to the case under Roviaro, likely so.] Hawkins v. Commonwealth, 2017 Ky. LEXIS 517 (Dec. 14, 2017):

Furthermore, Hawkins does not have a valid claim under the Confrontation Clause to call the CI as a witness at his suppression hearing. It has been stated that, “The main purpose of confrontation is to insure the right of cross-examination and protect the accused from conviction by means of ex parte testimony or affidavits given in his absence. It is a rule concerned with the method by which evidence is produced during trial.” Our holding is supported by Thompkins v. Commonwealth where we stated, “The Confrontation clause does not give a defendant the right to discover the identity of an informant at a pretrial hearing under the guise of attacking his/her reliability.” Hawkins had ample ability to question Detective Newman about the CI at the suppression hearing, including the fact that the CI was a convicted criminal and had been paid in the past for the information he provided against others.

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