Two Justices Slam SCOTUS for Declining Criminal Justice Case
Article from Reason by Damon Root.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an important case dealing with forensic evidence, criminal trials, and the Sixth Amendment right of defendants to confront their accusers. Writing in dissent, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, criticized the Court for turning a blind eye to such constitutional malfeasance.
The case is Stuart v. Alabama. Here’s how Gorsuch summarized the stakes in his dissent from denial of certiorari:
To prove Vanessa Stuart was driving under the influence, the State of Alabama introduced in evidence the results of a blood-alcohol test conducted hours after her arrest. But the State refused to bring to the stand the analyst who performed the test. Instead, the State called a different analyst. Using the results of the test after her arrest and the rate at which alcohol is metabolized, this analyst sought to estimate for the jury Ms. Stuart’s blood-alcohol level hours earlier when she was driving. Through these steps, the State effectively denied Ms. Stuart the chance to confront the witness who supplied a foundational piece of evidence in her conviction.