Under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, a person charged with a crime has the right to a speedy trial. The philosophy behind this rule is that the government should not be able to drag out a prosecution -- keeping the defendant locked up or held under the terms of bond -- indefinitely. In essence, prosecutors are supposed to "put up or shut up"; either present what evidence they have gathered to the court or drop the charges.
The Confrontation Clause of Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that the accused has the right to be confronted by the witnesses against him in all criminal prosecution. In essence, this means that a defendant has the right to have his accusers testify before him, and the defendant has the right to cross-examine his accusers under oath. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court carved out an exception to this rule that may have profound implication for people accused of crimes in this country.