Smith v. Arizona--the briefs are in, including several amici who are confrontation law heavyweights. One of the amici is the U.S. SG in support of neither party suggesting a remand. To be argued 10 January 2024.
QUESTION PRESENTED Whether the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment permits the prosecution in a criminal trial to present testimony by a substitute expert conveying the testimonial statements of a nontestifying forensic analyst, on the grounds that (a) the testifying expert offers some independent opinion and the analyst’s statements are offered not for their truth but to explain the expert’s opinion, and (b) the defendant did not independently seek to subpoena the analyst.
* It would be interesting to know if she was let go because of performance issues or misconduct related to her practice. Would this not affect the reliability of any data or reports prepared by the substitute expert? So there's a discovery issue lurking potentially. Counsel are aware of the occasional missive about drug lab employee misconduct or other errors in testing. With the drug pop cases effectively a strict liability crime with a presumption of guilt, is there an argument that the MRE should be changed to require, like confessions, some modicum of independent corroboration in drug pop cases?
The SG states the QP as
Whether the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment is satisfied when an expert witness provides opinion testimony that is based in part on data from laboratory tests performed in whole or in part by someone who is not testifying.
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Amendments to UCMJ Since 1950 (2024 ed.)
Amendments to RCM Since 1984 (2024 ed.)
Amendments to MRE Since 1984 (2024 ed.)
Army Crim. L. Deskbook
J. App. Prac. & Pro.