United States v. Umana, 750 F.3d 320 (Apr. 23, 2014)

In this federal death penalty case, the court relied on Williams v. New York, 337 U.S. 241 (1949), to hold that the confrontation clause does not apply in the sentence selection phase (where the jury exercises discretion in selecting a life sentence or the death penalty) of a federal capital trial. The court noted that under the Federal Death Penalty Act, the jury finds the facts necessary to support the imposition of the death penalty in the guilt and eligibility phases of trial and that “[i]t is only during th[o]se phases that the jury makes ‘constitutionally significant’ factual findings.” The court’s holding pertained only to the sentence selection phase.