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SCOTUS in Briscoe opinion: See Melendez-Diaz

In an odd ruling in one of the most anticipated cases on the docket for prosecutors and defense attorneys, the U.S. Supreme Court today – in a one-sentence opinion – declined to carve out an exception to its ruling in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, which requires prosecutors to make forensic law analysis available to testify in criminal trials where lab reports are entered as evidence.

The case Briscoe v. Virginia questioned whether a state statute giving defendants the right to call lab analysts as trial satisfied the defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights. But although the Court granted cert in that case after Melendez-Diaz was decided, today the Court ruled simply: “We vacate the judgment of the Supreme Court of Virginia and remand the case for further proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.”

The court also handed down a ruling in the RICO case Hemi Group, LLC v. City of New York.

Much more later on the Briscoe ruling and its implications on this blog as well as on Lawyers USA online.

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