Friday, September 10, 2010

Confronting Science: Melendez-Diaz and the Confrontation Clause

From "In an interesting turn of its docket this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case with an almost identical issue as a controversial decision from its last term. That second bite at the apple, however, did not bear fruit, with this year’s Court issuing a one-sentence opinion and sending it back down to the Virginia Supreme Court, merely instructing its members to make their ruling consistent with last year’s Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. The Melendez-Diaz decision addressed the practice of using evidence affidavits in lieu of in-person testimony by forensic examiners, holding that the practice violates the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This article explores this decision and its implications for prosecutors relying on such examinations."

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