Tagged: confrontation clause

Supreme Court Smackdown

“Why is this case here, except as an opportunity to upset Melendez-Diaz?” So wondered Justice Scalia during oral argument a couple weeks back in the case of Briscoe v. Virginia. For some background, see our previous post on this case here. Briefly, the Supreme Court held last year in Melendez-Diaz...

No, Virginia, You Can’t Get Around the Confrontation Clause by Shifting the Burden of Proof

On June 25 last year, the Supreme Court held in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts that in a drug case the prosecution can’t simply use a sworn lab report to prove the existence of a controlled substance. If the chemist doesn’t testify, it violates the Confrontation Clause. (See our previous post about...

Lab Report’s Not Enough — Chemist Must Testify

The Supreme Court this morning ruled that it’s a violation of the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause for the prosecution in a drug case to simply admit a sworn lab report, without the chemist’s testimony, to prove that the drugs were controlled substances. This is what we predicted, of course, making...