This article addresses the spousal testimonial privilege. It discusses the rationale and history of the privilege as well as its current requirements. The privilege allows a spouse to refuse to testify against the other spouse in a criminal proceeding, but does not allow a criminal defendant to block the testimony by his or her spouse if the testifying spouse chooses to waive the privilege. The privilege requires a lawful marriage and does not apply to sham marriages.
GW Paper Series
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2018-66; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-66
Mueller, Christopher B. and Kirkpatrick, Laird C. and Richter, Liesa, §5.31 Spousal Testimonial Privilege (2018). C. Mueller, L. Kirkpatrick, & L. Richter, Evidence §5.31 (6th ed. Wolters Kluwer 2018); GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2018-66; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-66. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277039