Supreme Court Takes Up New Case on Witness Confrontation


The Supreme Court today said it would hear a new case on whether an expert witness can be called as a stand-in for a lab analyst who actually did a test on criminal evidence, but did not appear at the trial, reports

The high court will review a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court that prosecutors could introduce a forensic analyst's report on a DNA test of evidence by offering it through the on-stand testimony of an expert witness, when the lab analyst was not available to testify. The expert witness had had no part in making the analysis, and no personal knowledge of how the test was done. The state court concluded that there was no violation of the suspect's confrontation right, because the lab report was being admitted not for its truth, but only to explain the expert's opinion about the results.

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