Rest in peace, Farrah & Michael, now there is other news. Both made a significant impact on popular culture, now go back to work and report and read some real news.
The New York Times actually reports other news. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that lab technicians who test evidence in criminal cases must actually testify, subject to cross examination, and prosecutors cannot rely on written reports. The right to cross examine laboratory technicians remain sacrosanct. Thank heavens. The decision can be found here.
The short explanation: the US Supreme Court ruled in Crawford v. Washington that certain exceptions to the hearsay rule were no longer exceptions. A witness, for the most part, must be present to testify against a defendant in live court. Out of court testimony (affidavits, statements to police) are not admissible if the only reason for the existence of the statement is due to the court case.
The case before the Supreme Court reads as clearly a violation of Crawford. Affidavits or “certificates” signed and presented by the State of Massachusetts during trial established that the substances seized from the defendants tested positive for illicit drugs. These certificates circumvented the defendant’s right to cross examine the lab analyst about the method of testing used, the steps taken, and efficacy of the tests used.
We should all be cheering this decision and the preservation of the right to confrontation.
Also, the Supreme Court ruled that the strip search of a 13 year old girl by school officials to find ibuprophen was unconstitutional. Why did the Supreme Court have to make a ruling? It was Ibuprophen. Seriously? Have we as Americans vacated logic for strict compliance to rules and regulations?