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14 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 1 (2009-2010)

handle is hein.journals/bjcl14 and id is 1 raw text is: 27 Years of Truth-in-Evidence:
The Expectations and Consequences of
Proposition 8's Most Controversial
Diana Friedlandt
Twenty-seven years ago, nearly three million California residents,1
disillusioned by what they perceived as an unrelenting crime rate and a state
judiciary that often neglected the rights of crime victims, headed to the polls
and cast their vote in support of Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment
creating a victims' bill of rights.2 The initiative delineated a series of rights
giving crime victims a stronger voice within the criminal justice system, and
chief among them was the Right to Truth-in-Evidence, which provided that
with few exceptions, relevant evidence shall not be excluded in any criminal
proceeding.3 From the moment it was incorporated within Proposition 8, it
engendered a mass of speculation. Proponents and opponents, and scholars and
t Associate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, Los Angeles, CA. J.D., Boalt Hall School of
Law, University of California, Berkeley; B.A., University of Southern California. Many thanks to
Professor David A. Sklansky, who inspired me to write this article and who provided invaluable
guidance throughout its evolution. I would also like to thank Emily Garcia for her insight and
encouragement. Finally, this article would not have been published without the love and support
of my parents, Victor and Yelena Friedland, and my sister, Polina Friedland Bernstein.
1. Eleanor Swift, Does it Matter Who is in Charge of Evidence Law?, 25 LoY. L.A. L. REV.
649 n.2 (1992).
2. Lee Ashley Smith, The Admissibility of Tape Recordings In Criminal Trials Involving
Domestic Disputes: California's Proposition 8 and Title III of the Federal Omnibus Crime
Control and Safe Streets Act, 15 HASTINGS WOMEN'S L.J. 217, 223 (2004).
3. The Truth-in-Evidence Act, embodied in Article I § 28(d), provides in full: Except as
provided by statute hereafter enacted by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the
Legislature, relevant evidence shall not be excluded in any criminal proceeding, including pretrial
and post conviction motions and hearings, or in any trial or hearing of a juvenile for a criminal
offense, whether heard in juvenile or adult court. Nothing in this section shall affect any existing
statutory rule of evidence relating to privilege or hearsay, or Evidence Code, Sections 352, 782, or
1103. Nothing in this section shall affect any existing statutory or constitutional right of the
press. CAL. CONST. art. I § 28(d) (1982).

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