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More on Lab Techs and Confrontation

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The Supreme Court's jurisprudence on lab techs and the Confrontation Clause is a mess.  The fractured opinions leave everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out what the law is.  There are huge practical problems with having the person who did the analysis testify.  First, the process is often a team effort, so there is no one person.  Second, people often quit or get laid off.  Sometimes a key person is dead by the time of the trial.

For more background, see this post from last year on Williams v. Illinois and this post from 2011 on Bullcoming v. New Mexico.

Today, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided Young v. United States, throwing out the conviction of a rapist because the supervisor, not anyone who actually worked on the lab analysis, testified at trial.  Zoe Tillman has this post at BLT.  "A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, William Miller, said via email that his office is 'reviewing the decision and has no further comment at this time.' "

The D.C. Court of Appeals is treated like a state supreme court for many purposes, including review of its decisions.  If DoJ wants to take it up, they have to file a certiorari petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.  (See 28 U.S.C. ยง1257(b).)

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