Forfeiture by wrongdoing is a powerful legal doctrine available in domestic violence prosecutions.  This doctrine provides that where a victim is unavailable at trial as a result of acts by the defendant designed to procure her unavailability, the Commonwealth may introduce her previous statements as substantive evidence.  The defendant, estopped by his own misconduct, forfeits his right to object on hearsay or confrontation clause grounds.  

In this webinar Carrie Newton, from MDAA’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, will discuss notifying the court of the Commonwealth’s intent to invoke the doctrine, proceeding at the requisite evidentiary hearing, and how the forfeiture evidence can be used at trial.

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