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14 Wis. Women's L.J. 1 (1999)
Updating the Marital Privileges: A Witness-Centered Rationale

handle is hein.journals/wiswo14 and id is 7 raw text is: Wisconsin Women' s
Law Journal
VOL. 14                                                        1999
Amanda H. Frost*
Levina Enriquez was assaulted by her husband, suffering serious
injury.' She fled the family home and took shelter in a local crisis
center.2 Ten days later she received a conciliatory phone call from
her husband, in which he told her that he was in therapy to control
his violent impulses, and he begged her to come back to him.3 Levina
refused, and when the state brought criminal charges against him she
willingly testified at her husband's trial, recounting the admissions he
had made in the phone call.4 He protested at trial, and then again on
appeal, that her testimony violated the privilege protecting confiden-
tial marital communications.5 The Court of Appeals reversed his con-
viction on that ground and ordered a new trial at which Levina did
not testify.6 Levina's husband did not spend a single day in jail for the
State v. Enriquez,7 summarized above, was showcased in an article
critiquing the marital privileges from a feminist perspective,8 but it
could just as easily have been cited by a frustrated prosecutor railing
* Staff attorney, Public Citizen Litigation Group. BA., Harvard College, 1993;
J.D., Harvard Law School, 1997. I would like to thank Professor Martha Minow for
her insightful critique of an earlier draft of this article. I also thankJoshua Frost and
Richard Glenn for their thoughtful comments and editing.
1. See State v. Enriquez, 609 A.2d 343, 344 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1992).
2. See id.
3. See id.
4. See id.
5. See id.
6. See id. at 347.
7. See id.
8. See Margaret J. Chriss, Troubling Degrees of Authority: The Continuing Pursuit of
Unequal Marital Roles, 12 LAw & INEQ. J. 225, 251 (1993).

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