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Top court upholds dying man’s ID of alleged killer

Video of a dying man blinking at a photo of his alleged killer is admissible evidence at trial, even though the victim cannot be cross-examined and he lived for another two years, Maryland's top court held Friday. A unanimous Court of Appeals held Mevlin Pate's identification of Jermaine Hailes was a "dying declaration," meaning Hailes does not have a Sixth Amendment right of confronting his accuser in Prince George's County Circuit Court. "Here, we reach the same conclusion that the Supreme Court has consistently endorsed for more than a century, and hold that the Confrontation Clause does not apply to dying declarations," Judge Shirley M. Watts wrote in affirming the Court of Special Appeals.

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