Bronx court sets boundaries for crime lab techs’ testimony about methods and results

For decades, a defendant’s right to confront his accuser (6th Amendment) has been extended to certain types of “accusations” from forensic testers and their opinions supporting the Prosecution’s case.

This is an update based on a defense demand that all 6 crime lab techs who worked this case had to testify. Crime labs have been complaining about their techs languishing in courtrooms instead of working at the bench.

Newbauer [a Bronx Supreme Court judge] ruled in People v. M.F., 3760-2013, that it would be sufficient to call the technician who positively linked “M.F.” to the DNA sample from a vaginal swab taken from the rape victim to testify about OCME [the medical examiners’ office] testing procedures and its handling of DNA materials.

Newbauer also said that the first technician who dealt with the sample may be called, because the woman’s rapist was unknown when the sample was initially analyzed, and there are bona fide questions about the “first-stage protocols.”

The testimony of those two technicians would be testimonial while that of the others who handled the sample would be nontestimonial, Newbauer ruled.
Read more: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202747994146/Ruling-Addresses-Limits-on-Forensic-Expert-Testimony#ixzz3yT7vGaqu

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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