Tag: Briscoe

Supreme Court Will Re-Hear Important 6th Amendment Case Today

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument at 11:30 a.m. Monday on Briscoe, et al., v. Virginia (07-11191). This is unusual, in that the Court is going to hear the same arguments it ruled on last June in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (opinion here.)

In June, the court ruled for the defense, which had objected to the state's reliance on an affidavit to prove a substance was cocaine. The defense said it was entitled to the live testimony of the chemist so it could cross-examine him or her. The Court agreed with the defense that live testimony was required under the Sixth Amendment's right to confront witnesses.

Scotus blog says since the ruling, 26 states and the District of Columbia have urged that the decision be overruled, hence, arguments tomorrow at which the Court may also decide to limit the right.

It's an important right, and I tell a story here about how having that right changed the outcome in one of my cocaine cases many years ago.

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