Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Defense of the 6th Amendment

Thank you Justice Scalia!

Legal experts and prosecutors are concerned about the results of last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires lab analysts to be in court to testify about their tests. Lab sheets that identify a substance as a narcotic or breath-test printouts describing a suspect's blood-alcohol level are no longer sufficient evidence, the court ruled. A person must be in court to talk about the test results.

The opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, has prosecutors and judges shaking their heads in disgust and defense lawyers nodding with satisfaction at the notion that the Constitution's Sixth Amendment guarantee that defendants "shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him" is not satisfied by a sheet of paper.

"This is the biggest case for the defense since Miranda," said Fairfax defense lawyer Paul L. McGlone, referring to the Supreme Court ruling that required police to inform defendants of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. He said judges "are no longer going to assume certain facts are true without requiring the prosecution to actually put on their evidence."

Now do something about those laws which violate our 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendment rights.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank G-d (although here in Maryland, we already have had the right under State law to demand the presence of an analyst, if timely filed)...

Scalia's opinion just goes to show that a person who favors Constitutional rights and civil liberties cannot be pigeonholed as a 'liberal.'