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Court rules for defendants on crime lab reports
The Associated Press | June 25, 2009

Posted on 06/25/2009 9:53:56 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Thursday that criminal defendants have a constitutional right to cross-examine the forensic analysts who prepare laboratory reports on illegal drugs and other evidence used at trial.

The court on Thursday ruled 5-4 for a defendant who was convicted of cocaine trafficking, partly because of crime lab analysis.

Luis Melendez-Diaz challenged lab analysis that confirmed cocaine was in plastic bags found in the car he was riding in. Rather than accept the report, Melendez-Diaz said he should be allowed to question the lab analyst about testing methods, how the evidence was preserved and other issues.

Massachusetts courts rejected his arguments.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the high court, said Melendez-Diaz has a constitutional right to confront the lab analyst.

[snip]

The case produced unusual alliances. Scalia attracted the votes of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas.

Joining Kennedy in dissent were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Stephen Breyer.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: confrontation; crimelab; scotus

1 posted on 06/25/2009 9:53:56 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian
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To: Lurking Libertarian

Hmmm, don’t we have a Constitutional right to confront all accusers??? Why isn’t this a 9-0 decision??? Why should a lab rat be exempt from having to defend their accusations???


2 posted on 06/25/2009 10:00:48 AM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
The case produced unusual alliances. Scalia attracted the votes of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas. Strange Bedfellows.

Seems reasonable to me that one should be able to cross examine the the lab technicians as to procedures. I mean duh.

3 posted on 06/25/2009 10:01:37 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Smogger

Now, you say you used the Ajax 9000 flash Spectrometer...is that correct? Why not the Boromir INCLUSIVE all phase Spectrometer? Your honor, is this a technician that knows a ketone from a genome? I think not...


4 posted on 06/25/2009 10:03:47 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: rednesss
Hmmm, don’t we have a Constitutional right to confront all accusers??? Why isn’t this a 9-0 decision???

Because Roberts and Alito think the word "conservative" means "the police always win."

5 posted on 06/25/2009 10:05:40 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: jessduntno

Perfectly reasonable line of questioning. They have their experts I have mine.


6 posted on 06/25/2009 10:07:47 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Smogger

“Perfectly reasonable line of questioning. They have their experts I have mine.”

Not sure, but I don’t think that this guy was an expert. I haven’t seen anything to indicate it...although, I guess, he might be an expert in cocaine. Advanced warning of testimony by expert witnesses id already covered in discovery. Expert witnesses and rebuttal are already allowed. This is like passing hate crime legislation. We already have the laws on the books for dealing with expert witnesses.

Didn’t any body see My Cousin Vinny?


7 posted on 06/25/2009 10:13:31 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: jessduntno

“This is like passing hate crime legislation. We already have the laws on the books for dealing with expert witnesses.”

Correct, but those that actually performed the testing were not required to be called to court to be questioned about their findings. Of course, every lawyer can find (pay) an “expert” to see things their way.

But, the state of Massivetwoshits said here are the results, you do not have a right to question how they were contrived, who did the testing, etc...

I do not see a problem with having the actual tech answering questions about his findings.


8 posted on 06/25/2009 10:21:51 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (For whatsoe'ver their sufferings were before; that change they covet makes them suffer more. -Dryden)
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To: ExTxMarine

“I do not see a problem with having the actual tech answering questions about his findings.”

Nor do I...but by who? This appears to me to be saying that the defendant gets to directly cross anyone involved...I think the ruling throws open the door to some sort of questioning by the defendant directly, rather than expert on expert, as the law is now structured, which makes sense to me. Just an opinion, but this does not look like a benefit...as far as I can see, this would possibly open the door to endless days of questioning of everyone from the janitor to the lab rats, which might include an untold number of people, by someone who would not necessarily understand the difference between a test tube and a pipettor...that would be in the defendants WORST interests, in my opinion...especially if the defendant is someone who is not as smart as they think they are...(I’m on the defendant’s side on this) by removing the expert testimony protection, you could triple the court’s time, get no benefit and have some very bad results for the defendant...


9 posted on 06/25/2009 10:33:36 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: Lurking Libertarian

Here’s the key, if your analysts are spending half of their time being deposed, then you will need twice as many analysts to do the same amount of work.

That’s twice the cost, and YOU are gonna pay for it.


10 posted on 06/25/2009 10:34:56 AM PDT by JoeDetweiler
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To: jessduntno

Bringing in the folks from the laboratory is simply going to focus the court for even longer on “what was in the bags” ~ and that is definitely not going to help the perp.


11 posted on 06/25/2009 10:39:34 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: jessduntno

But they aren’t expert witnesses and aren’t questioned as such. That was the guy’s point, some lab says x% of that powder was cocaine but how do we know the lab was right? Do we know they tested the right powder? Do we know their test actually finds cocaine? Do we know the testing equipment was properly cleaned after the previous test? Really all this ruling is doing is making the lab tech part of the expert witness and evidence handling crowd and questionable as such.


12 posted on 06/25/2009 10:44:55 AM PDT by razorboy
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To: jessduntno

I have a simple rule when dealing with LEO: say as little as possible and ask for a lawyer. If a ignorant defendant decides he wants to cross examine a tech without knowledge, then he is already screwing up and I have no mercy for ignorant people! So let him fail and I am all for giving him additional tools with which to fail!

Now, sometimes, like down here in Houston, the crime lab is so bad that it NEEDS an enema! They started losing cases left and right on appeals because the lab was misplacing evidence, crossing evidence, etc... Finally, someone came forward and admitted this! Had the techs been called to court, then they would have had to admit to having lost evidence, crossing evidence, etc...

If getting an innocent person off of charges takes four years, then I am ALL for the extra time! And as you said, most career criminals are NOT going to pull this because it might/probably will backfire unless they KNOW better.


13 posted on 06/25/2009 10:45:12 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (For whatsoe'ver their sufferings were before; that change they covet makes them suffer more. -Dryden)
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To: razorboy

Do we know the testing equipment was properly cleaned after the previous test? Really all this ruling is doing is making the lab tech part of the expert witness and evidence handling crowd and questionable as such.

It is not the why but the who...the defendant has the right to have an expert do all of this...why make it possible for the defendant to do it too? As to the testing properly, what do the lab rats need to do to prove it was done properly? This is why the legal system is such a nightmare...there is too much duplication of law...which was Roberts’ opinion, I believe...and putting a defendant NOT an expert up against an expert makes no sense...


14 posted on 06/25/2009 10:51:17 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: Lurking Libertarian

http://www.policeone.com/investigations/articles/122113-Report-criticizes-Houston-crime-lab/

4 Supreme Court justices have apparently never heard of the Houston Police Crime Lab scandal.


15 posted on 06/25/2009 10:55:48 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: jessduntno

They need to be able to do the same thing the cops needs to be able to do, show the evidence chain, that it was properly handled and utilized. They probably already do all the annoying paperwork anyway, now they’re just going to have to present it. It’s not putting the defendant against anybody, it’s questioning the veracity of the presented evidence rather than taking lab results as established guaranteed truth. Remember our system is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, we err on the side of freeing people. Lab results should be questionable, and in order to question the lab results you need to be able to question the guys who did the work.


16 posted on 06/25/2009 10:57:04 AM PDT by razorboy
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To: jessduntno

We should not be compelled to blindly accept as undisputable fact the results of anything. Most of these labs were set up to provide evidence to generate convictions. Political and prosecutor influence in them is strong. I have a problem with that. Lessons learned from the poor procedures at the FBI Crime Lab should not be forgotten.

If you need a better example of this, our state can give you one. We used to have a head forensic examiner named Fred Zain. His tests convicted hundreds of people. The problem was, he didn’t even have a college degree. Most of tests and testimony were just made up. They were specifically tailored to generate convictions. Prosecutors loved him and specifically requested him to provide testimony at trial. Hundreds of people were sentenced to hard prison time based on contrived testimony. Some were sentenced to life terms when the real forensic evidence actually exonerated them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Zain


17 posted on 06/25/2009 11:02:47 AM PDT by FreeInWV (Have you had enough change yet?)
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To: ExTxMarine

If getting an innocent person off of charges takes four years, then I am ALL for the extra time! And as you said, most career criminals are NOT going to pull this because it might/probably will backfire unless they KNOW better.

But you won’t be all for it when you have an extra 5,000 criminals out on bail committing crimes while waiting for day 15,200 of a trial to get him off a charge that may or may not be all that serious anyway, or when they turn loose 2,000 prisoners because of overcrowding...I am not saying they never make a mistake, but at some point you need to make an assumption of competence until the person is proven otherwise...yes, there might be mistakes...I know...but the wheels of justice grind slowly, as they say and too much more and they will halt...the reason they typically don’t want people defending themselves is for time reasons, procedural issues, etc...the backlog in courts is just as lethal at times, by the number of repeat offenses committed while out on another beef...


18 posted on 06/25/2009 11:07:25 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: FreeInWV

“We should not be compelled to blindly accept as undisputable fact the results of anything. Most of these labs were set up to provide evidence to generate convictions.”

I’m sorry, I do not have that dark a view of the system...


19 posted on 06/25/2009 11:08:22 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: ExTxMarine

I have a simple rule when dealing with LEO: say as little as possible and ask for a lawyer.

I’ve been lucky; not too much experience, but you can bet your ass I would never try to show someone in a courtroom how smart I was...the last words of a fool; “I don’t need a GD lawyer, I didn’t do anything.”


20 posted on 06/25/2009 11:18:24 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: rednesss
The issue is not as straightforward as it may seem. The previous rule was that as part of the defense case, the defense could subpoena lab techs and examine them on their work.

Now, because lab reports are subject to the confrontation clause, the techs and analysts who prepare them must appear at trial as part of the prosecution case. This increases the costs and burdens of forensic evidence and gives the defense a greater opportunity to gain an acquittal by making the nerds in the crime lab look bad or are unavailable to testify.

Other issues remain. Will the prosecution have to produce witnesses as to the manufacture, calibration, maintenance, and repair of their lab equipment so as to show it to be reliable? Will chemical reagents have to be proven up in a similar fashion?

21 posted on 06/25/2009 11:20:43 AM PDT by Rockingham
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To: jessduntno

“I’m sorry, I do not have that dark a view of the system...”

You obviously didn’t read the link. Nor did you read the NYT story lined from there.

In your view, is it Ok that a man got convicted and sentenced to 335 years based on contrived testimony? What about the other prisoner who was pending the death penalty based on contrived evidence? Is it Ok that many people in the chain (including the FBI) knew the evidence was contrived and overlooked it because Zain was “Pro-Prosecution”?

I am glad that I do not have such a naiive view of the system.


22 posted on 06/25/2009 11:22:36 AM PDT by FreeInWV (Have you had enough change yet?)
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To: jessduntno

I have only dealt with the police from behind a steering wheel (three times in over 25 years of driving) and when I called them out to my place for problems with others.

But, to your other post - nope I have no problem with those crooks being out. If they show up at my place, either my wife, one of my daughters or I will send them to their FINAL judgment! I have two shotguns, several rifles and several pistols at the house; all four of us know how to and when to use them!


23 posted on 06/25/2009 11:26:12 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (For whatsoe'ver their sufferings were before; that change they covet makes them suffer more. -Dryden)
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To: rednesss

>>Hmmm, don’t we have a Constitutional right to confront all accusers??? Why isn’t this a 9-0 decision??? Why should a lab rat be exempt from having to defend their accusations???<<

Very good question. I was wondering exactly the same thing. Heck, they got to cross examine the “lab rat” even in My Cousin Vinney!


24 posted on 06/25/2009 11:28:41 AM PDT by RobRoy (This too will pass. But it will hurt like a you know what.)
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To: FreeInWV

“In your view, is it Ok that a man got convicted and sentenced to 335 years based on contrived testimony?”

No. In my view that is awful...I never said anything of the sort...any of these things look good to you?

And this is just page one of 19 results from a google of “killed on bail”. You can always find something lousy if you look for it...;

Police say illegal immigrant stabbed man while on bail - Examiner.comPolice say illegal immigrant stabbed man while on bail ... Go, Maryland, Another person could have been killed because you want to be a sanctuary state and let illegal aliens out ...

www.examiner.com/a-1302137~

Police_say_illegal_immigrant_stabbed_man_while_on_bail.html · Cached pageRecent cases put Parole Board in the spotlightBy Julie Manganis , Staff writer Gloucester Daily Times

February 26, 2007 10:02 am SALEM - Twenty years ago, Charles “Chucky” Doucette shot a man in the head and killed him. While out on bail, he committed two home invasions. In 1991, he was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms.

Doucette, 48, was released from Bridgewater State ...

- Twenty years ago, Charles “Chucky” Doucette shot a man in the head and killed him. While out on bail, he committed two home invasions.

www.gloucestertimes.com/homepage/local_story_057094636/resources_printstory · Cached page

Teen killed woman while out on bail - Youth - NZ Herald NewsA North Shore teenager who yesterday admitted the brutal murder of a North Shore pensioner was on bail at the time of the killing. The 15-year-old - who cannot be named for legal

query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9407E0D7153CE533A25756C2A9679C946095D6CFAbstracts: Gambler guilty of football sabotage. Satanic stalker killed ... Wai Yuen Liu has been found guilty in a trial relating to a soccer gambling scam in Britain. A syndicate linked to Triad gangsters has interfered with two soccer matches by turning off the floodlights so the game had to be stopped. Liu was found guilty of plotting sabotage at a soccer match involving Liverpool and Charlton Athletic in the 1998-1999 ...

stalker killed boy of 12 while out on bail ... The murder took place shortly after Crowley had been released on bail, even ...

www.faqs.org/abstracts/Retail-industry/Gambler-guilty-of-football-sabotage-Satanic... · Cached page
TheStar.com - GTA - Road rage accused free on $25,000 bail Wayne Winsor, 39, is ordered not to drive while out on bail. ... The family of a Milton man killed in an alleged road rage incident made a tearful ...

www.thestar.com/printArticle/457678 · Cached pageKatara case: HC questiones conduct of Vikas while out on bail... you got involved in another case while you were out on bail?” a bench comprising justices B D Ahmed and PK Bhasin said while hearing a bail ... Tiger killed, burnt in a cashew ...

www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1242577 · Cached pageBBC NEWS | Scotland | Man killed partner while on bail

Man killed partner while on bail ... A man who admitted murdering a woman in Clackmannanshire while he was out on bail has ...

news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/scotland/4479294.stm · Cached page

Brothers pay tribute to mother killed by police officer on bailThe sons of a woman shot dead while her son-in-law was on bail paid tribute to their mother yesterday ... talented at needlework, loved the church, and even found time to help out ...

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jan/16/ukcrime.uknews4 · Cached pageWhile Out on Bail, Kevorkian Attends A Doctor’s Suicide - The New York ... While Out on Bail, Kevorkian Attends A Doctor’s Suicide By DON TERRY Published: Tuesday, November ... was going to get worse before the bone cancer ravaging his 61-year-old body killed ...

www.nytimes.com/1993/11/23/us/while-out-on-bail-kevorkian-attends-a-doctor-s-suicide.html · Cached pageAnger as truck driver killed father while on bail | Mail OnlineAnger as truck driver killed father while on bail. Last updated at 08:58 16 June 2006 ... Repay the expenses or I’ll kick you out of the party’: Cameron’s warning to ...


25 posted on 06/25/2009 11:33:32 AM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: Rockingham
I don't see a problem here especially if you've read anything about the Houston Crime Lab scandal. People should not be spending decades in prison based upon the false assumption that if it's on a lab report it's King James Bible Gospel Truth.

I think forensic crime labs should not be all that cozy with the police or the prosecutor's office or anyone, they should be autonomous. They should be in the business of science and fact. Being chummy with the police gives me the impression of impropriety.

26 posted on 06/25/2009 11:42:39 AM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: jessduntno

You do realize that the Guardian and BBC or British???


27 posted on 06/25/2009 11:45:52 AM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: jessduntno

Sounds like you should be arguing about common sense bail procedures instead of against allowing defendants the opportunity to question evidence.


28 posted on 06/25/2009 11:51:24 AM PDT by FreeInWV (Have you had enough change yet?)
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To: FreeInWV

“Sounds like you should be arguing about common sense bail procedures instead of against allowing defendants the opportunity to question evidence.”

How are they seperate? Is there not a right to a speedy trial or to not be held too long in jail before trial?Aren’t the hearings all done in a courthouse? Why do you think there is such a problem with the wrong people out on bail? No where to put them...the court backlogs and time-to-trial is what is making it happening. Trials take so long, the bail is set too low (if there were stronger enforcements, IF we had the holding facilities, then everyone would be howling about that) and that is why this stuff happens...and I am not arguing against questioning evidence...it should be done in a way that makes sense...and having someone who knows nothing about it is the wrong person to be questioning it and the extra time it takes brings about some real travesties, too...


29 posted on 06/25/2009 12:08:11 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: jessduntno

Then you are unbelievably naive. Google Edwin Wilson and read the order vacating his conviction.


30 posted on 06/25/2009 12:09:32 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: rednesss

“You do realize that the Guardian and BBC or British???”

Yeah...take out the two from the five hundred you find when you do the search...sorry, I didn’t intend to detail each one, it was a demonstration that bad shit happens for a lot of reasons tied to overwloaded court dockets...


31 posted on 06/25/2009 12:12:03 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: SeaHawkFan

Thanks...I’ll get to it right after I re-read Oxbow Incident...naive is one thing I’m not...I’m also not arguing that this doesn’t happen...I’m not even arguing against the idea of careful examination of evidence...I think it is naive to think you will not create enormous problems in an already snafu’d system by throwing open cross examinations to everyone involved by everyone involved...and not, at some point, breaking down any system that gives you your right to a speedy trial.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but isn’t overanalyzing all of the evidence and techniques and lab tests and everything else going to make every trial as long as OJ’s??


32 posted on 06/25/2009 12:18:56 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: rednesss

For all its advances, forensic science has a complex set of problems that are only beginning to be understood and addressed:

(1) poorly run labs that do not perform and document their work through accepted scientific procedures;

(2) a relative lack of quality accreditation bodies and standards for labs and technicians;

(3) a near absence of scientific studies for some key forensic tools like fingerprints;

(4) inadequate funding;

(5) a near lack of effective independent auditing of lab performance and reliability;

(6) poor understanding and advocacy by prosecutors and defense attorneys as to lab evidence.

Making crime labs independent entities would do little to address these issues and might make them worse. Independent labs would tend to be bureaucratic stepchildren as to funding, and they would likely become the equivalent of the post office, where everyone waits on the same line with no distinctions as to the relative importance the business at hand.

Moreover, making labs independent might give them unwarranted credibility even when their results are weak. Prosecutors could say, in effect, “This is independently obtained and analyzed evidence and is not simply what the prosecution is saying. We should believe these lab results in spite of the defense attacks on these fine and disinterested scientists.”

On the whole, we are better off keeping to the principle that the police and prosecution are responsible for gathering and analyzing evidence and presenting it in court, with the defense then able to challenge it. The advocacy system is imperfect but it works.


33 posted on 06/25/2009 12:24:00 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: JoeDetweiler
If the prosecution has evidence, they better be prepared to have everyone involved in collection of that evidence cross examined.. From the tech that found and preserved it, right on up the line of "chain of evidence.".

I have read so many stories in the last couple of years of corrupt prosecutors, that I have changed my mind of the death penalty...

34 posted on 06/25/2009 12:29:49 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: RobRoy

>>Hmmm, don’t we have a Constitutional right to confront all accusers??? Why isn’t this a 9-0 decision??? Why should a lab rat be exempt from having to defend their accusations???<<

Very good question. I was wondering exactly the same thing. Heck, they got to cross examine the “lab rat” even in My Cousin Vinney!

No, the defendants did NOT question the “lab rat” in My Cousin Vinny...their lawyer Vinny questioned him after presenting his case by way of HIS expert’s testimony...it’s the way it should work...and the two Utes were innocent...


35 posted on 06/25/2009 12:35:07 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: jessduntno
Ute!? What's a Ute?


36 posted on 06/25/2009 1:04:36 PM PDT by RobRoy (This too will pass. But it will hurt like a you know what.)
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To: jessduntno

Unless they were pro se, then whenever you read “defendant argues” or “defendant implies” in court opinions, they are always talking about the counsel saying it, not the person on trial.


37 posted on 06/25/2009 1:07:34 PM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: RobRoy

Ohhhhhhh.....I’m sorry....two
youuuuuuuuutttttttthhhhhhhhhhsssssssss....


38 posted on 06/25/2009 1:10:25 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: rednesss
"Unless they were pro se, then whenever you read “defendant argues” or “defendant implies” in court opinions, they are always talking about the counsel saying it, not the person on trial."

A defendant is;

1. In pro per, or pro se (both phrases are used, and roughly tranlated into latin means "you are screwed")

or

2. Represented by counsel

They can not be both at the same time...

39 posted on 06/25/2009 1:32:00 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: jessduntno
Mrs. Riley, and ONLY Mrs. Riley!


40 posted on 06/25/2009 1:57:39 PM PDT by RobRoy (This too will pass. But it will hurt like a you know what.)
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To: RobRoy

Hahahahaha...one of the funniest lines from a movie with a LOT of funny lines...Fred Gwynne was so good...the look on his face after Pesci did this scene was hilarious...it was a really great little movie...


41 posted on 06/25/2009 1:59:56 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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To: jessduntno

I didn’t say that. From what I’ve read on this thread some people think that the actual person on trial, the defendant, is going to be standing up in court and asking direct questions. Unless the person is representing themselves pro se, that won’t be happening. When you read appellate court decisions, they always read something like “defendant argues that this is unfair because x, y, and z”.... the defendant is not arguing, their attorney is on their behalf.


42 posted on 06/25/2009 2:20:01 PM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: rednesss
I got that...why, what did I say that was different?

If the court allows the interrogation of everyone in the chain of custody, rather than rely on accepted protocol, flawed as it may be, it means challenges can come from people who have no reason for the challenge, which could touch off a MOUNTAIN of useless days and hours and months of testimony from the initial investigator, tow truck drivers, impound lot guys, lab rats, janitors, techs, ME, ME assistants, trash haulers...an unbelievable cascade of time consuming, expensive and costly (in terms of grinding the courts to a halt) expense to be questioned by who? What expert?

The lawyer (if defendant retains counsel)? I thought he was a legal beagle?

The defendant (if pro per or pro se)? What does he know about forensics (or two trucks).

Or an EXPERT for the defense?

Will the expert need to be versed in all of the above fields or will a corresponding 30 or 40 experts be needed? To present expert testimony, if the client can't pay who will. You?

Will the tow truck driver have to detail for the court how the car was towed and whether it was properly documented, proven by an hour or so of the impound lot staff.? Who pays for that? Will a mechanic be called to testify? Who pays for that? You? Or do they just raise the impound fee so if you are towed it will cost you $500 bucks instead of $90?

If the law proceeds in this fashion, we are all relegated to no legal system as we know it, certainly not a swift trial...each trial could easily triple or quadruple in cost and time...the lawyers win...and the people end up like the people in the last days of Rome, just hopelessly screwed, all of them, all of the time...hating the cops, the cops unable to do any real work, then hating the people (as if that isn't bad enough now) while the billable hours tick by in an uncountable measure...and the defendants (yes, some who are innocent, others who are definitely NOT) get to roam around, laughing their asses off at how gullible we are...because we will have no room to put them up while awaiting trial (and there will be hell to pay if we don't) and I'll tell you, if you think the legal system sucks now, wait until we sink into this muck...

43 posted on 06/25/2009 2:55:33 PM PDT by jessduntno (July 4th, 2009. Washington DC. Gadsden Flags. Be There.)
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