A campaign throughout Florida to stanch the escalating number of crimesagainst the elderly will have to continue without a tool manyprosecutors considered integral to their efforts.

The Florida Supreme Court last week struck down a 1995 law that allowedprosecutors to substitute written statements for the direct testimonyof some frail elders. The court, in a unanimous decision written byJustice Barbara Pariente, found the practice violated theconstitutional right to confront one’s accusers.

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