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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

In 1980, the court of appeals for the Third Circuit, in Government of Virgin Islands v. Smith, held that a defendant's right to evidence in a criminal trial included a right to immunity /or his witnesses. Since that time, the district court of Maryland has similarly upheld, in United States v. Lyon, a defendant's right to testimony even though the witness may require immunity. This article discusses the competing interests weighing for and against defense witness immunity and suggests that once it is determined that a defendant has a right to certain testimony, it is proper to burden the government with a choice of alternatives to ensure the defendant that right.

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