Friday, January 8, 2010
Why Only 5-4?
"Virginia Hernandez Lopez admitted to knocking back two shots of tequila with Sprite chasers on an August night in Julian, Calif., a couple of years ago. But she said she was not drunk when her Ford Explorer collided with an oncoming Toyota pickup truck later that night, killing the driver. In May, a California appeals court affirmed Ms. Lopez's conviction for vehicular manslaughter. Her blood-alcohol level two hours after the accident was, according to a report presented to the jury, just over the legal limit of .08 percent. But the appeals court reconsidered the case after a decision in June from the [US] Supreme Court that prohibited prosecutors from introducing crime lab reports without testimony from the analysts who prepared them ... But now, in an unusual move, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on Jan. 11 in a new case that raises questions about how lower courts may carry out its six-month-old precedent. Many state attorneys general and prosecutors are hoping the court will overrule its decision in the earlier case, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, before it can take root, saying it is a costly, disruptive and dangerous misstep. ... Since the Melendez-Diaz case, the State of Massacusetts told the [US] Supreme Court last month that it now faces 'daunting volumes of cases to manage'," my emphasis, Adam Liptak at the NYT, 20 December 2009, link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/us/20scotus.html.
This is a disgrace, the case should have been a 9-0 no-brainer. The Sixth Amendment seems clear enough to me. Prosecutors don't like having their "oath helpers", sorry, "experts" cross examined. Why? "Costly, disruptive and dangerous" boo-hoo. No one should believe anything a prosecutor's expert says. Roberts and Alito apparently have reading comprehension problems. But they went to Ivy League law schools. So did Obama. Hahahahahahaha.