Document Type

Case Summary

Publication Date

Spring 4-30-2023

Case Synopsis

To determine whether remote testimony by way of video-conferencing satisfies a defendant's constitutional right to confrontation, a district court must find that (1) permitting a witness to testify remotely is necessary to further a compelling public policy interest, and (2) the testimony is otherwise reliable. In this case, the Nevada Supreme Court held that although efforts to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus may constitute a compelling public policy interest, a district court must make specific findings as to why permitting a particular witness to testify remotely furthers this interest. Here, the district court erred in not requiring such findings of necessity before allowing two witnesses to testify remotely at appellant’s murder trial. However, because the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, the judgment of conviction was affirmed.