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updated: 7/9/2014 6:09 AM

Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on hearsay law

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Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to rule on whether judges can allow hearsay evidence during preliminary hearings.

Hearsay is testimony that quotes someone who isn't available to testify. Such testimony was generally barred at preliminary hearings, the step where a judge decides whether a case is strong enough to continue, until 2012.

Republicans passed a law that year allowing it during the hearings, saying it would spare crime victims from testifying and eliminate the need for multiple witnesses.

A Walworth County couple facing child abuse charges and a Kenosha man charged with child sexual assault have challenged the law, arguing that allowing hearsay violates their right to confront their accusers and their right to due process.

The court is expected to issue a ruling Wednesday morning.

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