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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Authorities charged Francis William Stringer with possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony offense. Without a plea-bargain agreement with the state, Stringer entered a guilty plea before the trial judge. In entering his plea, Stringer signed written admonishments, which stated, among other things: “Joined by my attorney and in accordance with Art. 1.13 and 1.15 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, I waive and give up my right to a jury, both as to my guilt and assessment of my punishment. Under Art. 1.15, Code of Criminal Procedure, I waive and give up the right to appearance, confrontation, and cross-examination of the witnesses, and I consent to oral and written stipulations of evidence[.]“ Stringer did not waive the preparation of a presentence investigation report (PSI). The trial judge accepted Stringer’s guilty plea but deferred any finding on Stringer’s guilt until the PSI was prepared. During the hearing held after the PSI was completed, the state asked the trial judge to take judicial notice of the PSI. Stringer objected to the admission of the information contained in the “Adult Felony History” section of the report. This section of the report contained detailed information about a pending charge for possession of child pornography in Dallas. Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Crawford v. Washington, Stringer claimed that admitting the evidence would violate his Sixth Amendment right to confront and cross-examine witnesses during the punishment phase of his trial. The state claimed that the trial judge had a duty to inquire into the offense and stated that the witnesses interviewed for the “Adult Felony History” section of the report would be available for cross-examination. The trial judge overruled Stringer’s objection but allowed Stringer to have a running objection. After hearing arguments from the state and Stringer on punishment, the trial judge found Stringer guilty and sentenced him to nine years of imprisonment. Having preserved his right to appeal, Stringer appealed the trial judge’s decision to admit the “Adult Felony History” section of the PSI report. The 2nd Court of Appeals, with Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot dissenting, held that “Stringer knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his Sixth Amendment right to confront and cross-examine witnesses at the sentencing hearing.” The 2nd Court reasoned that the admonishments signed by Stringer when he entered his guilty plea stated that he waived his right to confront and cross-examine witnesses. In dissent, Dauphinot concluded that Stringer’s waiver of his right to confrontation and cross-examination applied only to the guilt phase. The CCA granted Stringer’s petition for discretionary review to determine whether the lower court “erred in deciding that when [Stringer] waived his confrontation and cross-examination right in this guilty plea pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure [Article] 1.15, he also waived it for purposes of the sentencing hearing[.]“ HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause, the CCA stated, provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him. The confrontation clause prohibits the admission of testimonial statements unless the declarant is not available to testify and the accused had a prior opportunity for cross-examination. The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses may be waived, the CCA stated. But the CCA also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that courts must “indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental constitutional rights.” Therefore, the CCA stated, “for a waiver to be effective it must be clearly established that there was”an intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege.’” The CCA first found that Art. 1.15 explicitly applied only to the guilt stage. As a result, the CCA held that Stringer’s written waiver of his right to confrontation and cross-examination applied only to the guilt stage. Therefore, contrary to the determination of the 2nd Court, Stringer did not knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waive his right to confront and cross-examine witnesses at sentencing. On remand, the CCA instructed the 2nd Court to address the state’s alternative arguments. In the event that the court rejects the state’s alternative arguments, the CCA instructed the 2nd Court to determine whether the information contained in the “Adult Felony History” section of the report was testimonial under Crawford. If so, the CCA stated, then the 2nd Court must conduct a harm analysis. OPINION:Keasler, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous court.

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