Court Extends Ruling On Co-Defendant’s Outside Statement

1998

In Gray v. Maryland, the U.S. Supreme Court expands on its 1968 ruling in Bruton v. United States. In this joint trial of two defendants, one co-defendant confessed before trial but did not take the witness stand. The Court rules that it violates the Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause for the confession to be read into evidence and to say “deleted” or “deletion” whenever the other defendant’s name is mentioned. The Court finds that the deletions suggest to the jury that the other defendant is the person being referred to, yet the co-defendant who made the confession is unable to be cross-examined.