Monday, January 25, 2010

Supreme Court affirms Melendez-Diaz ruling

Faced with the opportunity to curtail a defendant's right to confrontation as laid out in the Melendez-Diaz case, the United States Supreme Court today held that "notice and demand" statutes similar to Virginia's recently repealed statute violate the Sixth Amendment's right to confrontation.

At issue was whether Virginia's statute under which a lab analyst would be available for cross-examination upon the request of the Defendant, seemingly shifting the burden of proof.

The Court's opinion reads as follows:
"We vacate the judgment of the Supreme Court of Virginia and remand the case for further proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 US ___ (2009)." -- Briscoe v. Virginia, 559 US ___ (2010), per curiam
The prohibition of trial by affidavit lives on.

See also:

"Supreme Court hears challenge to confrontation ruling" The Defense Rests (Jan. 14, 2010)

No comments: