House lawmakers say rape victims should be protected from defendants attempting to traumatize them on the witness stand.
The Washington state House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that requests courts to establish a process by which defendants acting their own attorneys must use a third-party attorney or representative when questioning their alleged victims during trial.
Opponents to the bill worried it violated the Sixth Amendment right to face an accuser, but supporters say the substitute bill addresses these constitutional concerns.
Supporters say they have resolved questions of separation of branches, by giving the courts the right to decide on their process.
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Prime sponsor Rep. Roger Goodman of Kirkland said this bill is an important means to protect victims from suffering "needless trauma" at the hands of their attackers.
The bill now moves to the Senate.