Supreme Court Again Bolsters Confrontation Requirement


The Supreme Court ruled today, 5 to 4, that the lab analyst who testifies at a criminal trial must be the one who performed or witnessed the lab tests in question, says the Associated Press. It was the high court’s latest decision bolstering the constitutional requirement that defendants be able to confront witnesses against them.

The court ruled in favor of a New Mexico man convicted of drunken driving who objected when the supervisor of a lab analyst testified about a lab report showing the amount of alcohol in his blood. The majority opinion was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the main dissent. The court is expected to issue all remaining decisions in its 2010-2011 term next Monday.

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