Confrontation Clause Arguments

In two recent cases the Supreme Court has expanded Sixth Amendment right to confront a witness to include the lab technician who actually did the test.

In today’s argument the petitioner is challenging his conviction because the lab tech who performed a DNA test was not called to testify, but his report was introduced through the testimony of another expert witness. SC111206wide_Carroll

Justice Alito asked petitioner’s lawyer, Brian Carroll, “Hasn’t it long been accepted that experts may testify to the facts that form the basis for their opinions?” SC111206_Carroll

When it was State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s turn at the lectern Justice Scalia said, “We don’t know how good the individuals who did the test were. And that’s why it’s up to the state to bring forward testimony saying what the lab did. And the only testimony they brought forward was the testimony of this witness who was not there.” SC111206_Alvarez

Nor did Justice Kennedy seemed convinced as Mike Sacks tell it here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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