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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one today

In Koenig v. State, a 5-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Shepard writes:

Max Koenig was convicted of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance. Koenig contends the trial court violated his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation when it admitted a laboratory report without giving him the opportunity to confront the person who created the report. The Court of Appeals held the error was harmless, believing there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction without the lab report. We affirm the conviction, not because there was “sufficient evidence” of guilt without the report but rather because its admission was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt under Chapman v. California. * * *

Koenig contends a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to confrontation can never be harmless. He directs us to a footnote in a Court of Appeals opinion that states a harmless error analysis, after Crawford v. Washington, is not applicable to the Sixth Amendment. Jackson v. State, 891 N.E.2d 657, 662 n.5 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008). We conclude otherwise.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 21, 2010 01:35 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions