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Name: Murdoch v. Castro
Case #: 05-55665
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/12/2007
Summary

Exclusion of a letter subject to the attorney-client privilege did not violate a defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights. Affirming the district court’s denial of a habeas petition, the appellate court held that the exclusion of a privileged letter from a witness to his attorney did not violate the petitioner’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation and cross-examination where the cross-examination was otherwise effective, giving the jury ample information on which to measure the witness’s biases, and the letter had low probative value. Dissenting, Judge Bright wrote that letter would have been so crucial to the petitioner’s effective cross-examination of the witness that the trial court’s failure to disclose it violated the petitioner’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.