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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ind. Decisions - One Indiana decision today from 7th Circuit

In U.S. v. Moon (ND Ind., Judge Lozano), an 8-page opinion, Cheif Judge Easterbrook writes:

Anthony Alexander and George Moon have been convicted of distributing cocaine and of some ancillary crimes. See 21 U.S.C. §841. Alexander received a sentence of life imprisonment and Moon of 190 months. The principal question on appeal is whether a chemist violated the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment when testifying that the substance seized from defendants was cocaine. * * *

Thus we agree with Washington that the Sixth Amendment does not demand that a chemist or other testifying expert have done the lab work himself. Our decision in United States v. Ellis, 460 F.3d 920 (7th Cir. 2006), is to much the same effect—though it does not involve expert analysis. A hospital conducted blood and urine tests that were introduced into evidence as the hospital’s business records. See Fed. R. Evid. 803(6); see also Rule 803(4). Then the arresting officer testified that the results demonstrated the presence of methamphetamine in Ellis’s system. Ellis holds that the test results were not “testimonial” under Crawford and Davis. 460 F.3d at 923–24. We did not consider the possibility that the data are not “statements” in the first place. Thus Washington and Ellis reach the same result: the Confrontation Clause does not forbid the use of raw data produced by scientific instruments, though the interpretation of those data may be testimonial.

For more, see this entry by Howard Bashman of How Appealing.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 3, 2008 12:41 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions