The Compulsory Process Clause

Part I of this article traces the history of compulsory process, from its origin in the English transition from an inquisitional to an adversary system of procedure to its eventual adoption in the American Bill of Rights. Part II examines the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Washington v. Texas, which recognized after a century and a half of silence that the compulsory process clause was designed to enable the defendant not only to produce witnesses, but to put them on the stand and have them heard. Part III studies the implications of compulsory process for the defendant’s case, from the discovery of witnesses in his favor to orders compelling them to testify over claims of privilege.