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Right to confrontation doesn’t extend to suppression hearing (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court says defendants don’t have the right to confront accusers during suppression hearings.

The court’s 5-2 decision Thursday revolves around a Fond du Lac County judge’s decision to allow recorded statements from a police officer who stopped Glenn Zamzow for drunken driving during a hearing on whether to suppress evidence obtained during the stop. The judge allowed the recordings because the officer had died before the court could hold the hearing.

Zamzow argued the decision violated his right to confront his accuser.

The justices ruled defendants have the right to confront accusers at trial but not at suppression hearings, noting a trial is about determining guilt or innocence and a suppression hearing is about whether police violated the defendant’s rights.

Zamzow’s attorney, Thomas Aquino, says he’s disappointed.

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