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In 2009, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a crime lab report was sufficiently similar to testimony. The case involved drug charges. The lab report stated the results of tests showed that a substance was cocaine. The Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors could not introduce the lab report as evidence in the criminal trial without a live witness that was competent to testify to the truth of the statements made in the report under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.

Thursday the Supreme Court ruled that the live witness cannot be anyone but the original lab analysts who conducted the laboratory test. Thursday's ruling involved a DUI case where prosecutors introduced a lab report showing the results of a blood test drawn after a DUI arrest. Prosecutors had a live witness testify as to the statements made in the lab report, but the live witness had not conducted the original analysis.

The prosecutor called a supervisor from the crime lab to testify regarding the results shown on the lab report. The supervisor had not personally conducted the laboratory tests. A separate lab technician had conducted the DUI blood test sample analysis and signed the lab report. The prosecutor said the original analyst was on unpaid leave, without offering any further information.

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The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday that statements made during an ongoing emergency may be introduced as evidence in a criminal trial even if the person that made the statements has died before the trial. Santa Cruz criminal defense attorneys know that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to confront the witnesses against the defendant at trial. The right to confrontation includes the right to cross examine the witness.

Monday's Supreme Court ruling says the statements introduced at trial of an alleged murder victim through the testimony of police officers did not violate the defendant's right to confrontation. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a scathing dissent. Justice Scalia says Monday's ruling distorts the high court's "Confrontation Clause jurisprudence and leaves it in a shambles." Justice Scalia goes on to say majority opinion demeans the Supreme Court.

The case arose out of an incident that happened in Detroit in 2001. Police responded to a report of a shooting. Several police officers responded and found a man who had been shot lying near his car in a gas station parking lot. Each officer asked the man several questions. The man reportedly told police the identity of the man who allegedly shot him. The man died later that morning at the hospital.

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