Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! It’s greatly appreciated. I hadn’t been aware of the two-jury solution. The pointing-fingers issue is certainly important, but doesn’t that come up even in trials without confessions? It seems that issue is more commonly addressed through motions to sever, is that right?

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This is a really interesting piece! Your focus on the who-decides approach obscures the many possible solutions to this problem that do not implicate the rights of the accused person who has not implicated himself in the crime. You discuss true severance, the holding of multiple trials, but the more common Bruton solution I have seen is a two-jury trial. The prosecution has to give two separate opening and closing arguments and has to present any testimony related to the admission/confession only to the jury deciding the fate of the defendant who made the statement. This doesn’t force the rewriting of any statements, or meaningless redaction that still leaves plenty of room for inference and implication of codefendants’ guilt.

If the question were posed as: Can the prosecution ask police officers about another person’s confession to this crime that implicated the accused? at a trial involving _one_ defendant, the answer would be clear as a matter of both hearsay and Confrontation Clause law. The only reason the Bruton cases are necessary is the multiple-trials problem, which is an administrative problem for the system more than anything else.

None of this even touches on the related problem in Bruton cases, which is the potential for mutually inconsistent fingers-pointing defenses that deny everybody a fair trial.

Isn’t the best constitutional rule one which best matches the spirit and complies with the letter of the constitution, even if it’s a pain for the prosecution? It’s kinda _supposed_ to be a pain for them, after all.

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