RESPONDENT: Irving L. Cross
LOCATION: Cook County Criminal Courts Building Circuit Court of Cook County
DOCKET NO.: 11-74
DECIDED BY: Roberts Court (2010-2016)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
CITATION: 565 US (2011)
GRANTED: Dec 12, 2011
DECIDED: Dec 12, 2011
Facts of the case
At a trial for kidnapping and sexual assault, Irving Cross' victim, known as A.S., was terrified to testify against him, but did so anyway. The jury found Cross not guilty of kidnapping, but was unable to reach a decision on the sexual assault charges. The judge declared a mistrial and the State opted to retry Cross on the sexual assault charges.
A.S. said she would testify at the second trial, but about a month beforehand, the State discovered that A.S. was missing. After an exhaustive search, which included visits to her parent's and old boyfriend's homes on multiple occasions, the State moved to declare A.S. unavailable and enter her prior testimony into evidence in the new trial. The trial court granted the motion and a clerk read the testimony at trial. The jury acquitted Cross of aggravated sexual assault, but found him guilty of criminal sexual assault. The Illinois Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Illinois denied Cross' petition for leave to appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court denied his writ of certiorari.
Cross then filed for a writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, arguing that the testimony in the second case violated the Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment. According to Cross, the State had not made good faith efforts to locate A.S.. The district court denied the writ, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed. The court of appeals stressed the importance of the testimony, and several avenues of inquiry the State did not exhaust in its search.
Did the steps taken to attempt to locate A.S. satisfy the Confrontation Clause's good faith effort requirement?