The Bill of Rights are first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution which guaranty personal freedoms and limit governmental powers. The Sixth Amendment states:
„In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.“
The following part of the Sixth Amendment is named the confrontation clause: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”
The Confrontation Clause has its roots in both English Common Law, protecting the right of cross-examination, and Roman Law, which guaranteed persons accused of a crime the right to look their accusers in the eye.
According to the Bible, Acts 25:16, the Roman Governor Festus, discussing the proper treatment of his prisoner, Paul, stated: “It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man up to die before the accused has met his accusers face-to-face, and has been given a chance to defend himself against the charges.“