Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crawford to Melendez-Diaz to Bullcoming to Williams v. Illinois

While I wanted to write on the issue of the private financing of public prosecutions to tie in with the recent article ("Fire investigations face scrutiny") in the Wisconsin State Journal about one of my recent cases, State v. Bergeron; other matters have slowed my efforts. Therefore, I am submitting a brief note about the latest going on with the Supremes and Crawford and its progeny.

My originals suspicions about the dissent in Melendez-Diaz testing the two new members (Sotomayer and Kagan) in Bullcoming may prove prescient. It is becoming apparent, no surprise really, that Sotomayer and Kagan are not the same as the two justices they replaced: Stevens and Souter. The scenario presented by Sotomayer in her concurrence in Bullcoming is close to the issue presented in Williams v. Illinois. It will be interesting to see if the slim majority holds when dealing with the results of lab testing and experts testifying who did not do the actual lab analysis.

The question as framed by the Court:
Whether a state rule of evidence allowing an expert witness to testify about the results
of DNA testing performed by non-testifying analysts, where the defendant has no
opportunity to confront the actual analysts, violates the Confrontation Clause.

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