Piece of Paper Reads: “You’re Guilty”. Well Not Any More.

Imagine a place where you are accused of a crime.  Where you can lose your liberty.  Where you can lose your job.  Where you can lose everything you have worked so very hard for.

Imagine that during this trial, the Government only introduced a single piece of paper that reads “You’re Guilty”.  That’s it.

Imagine during that trial, you have no way of challenging or questioning that single piece of paper.  That is it.  You are guilty.

Where is that place???

Iraq?  Afghanistan?  China?  North Korea?

It was actually, here, in the good old United States.  That was until last week.  That is exactly what happened all across the United States and even in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

But, you say, we have The United States Bill of Rights and the Sixth Amendment which reads:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

It used to be that the Government would simply enter the breath test result or the blood lab result with no live witnesses.  One piece of paper.  They would enter that one piece of paper and you were done.  You cannot cross-examine a single piece of paper.  It cannot speak back.  It cannot answer questions.  So, you were left with a magic number and no means to challenge it.

Last week, the United States Supreme Court came down with a landmark decision entitled Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.  This case confirmed the accused’s land standing, but sequentially eroded Confrontation Right inherent in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constituion.

Now the Government will have to provide for a live witness if they want to introduce into Court any form of forensic science or analysis result.


The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees each individual the right to confront any witness brought against him or her. This right is a fundamental right and as such must be guarded heavily. This right to Confront extends to and includes the “use” of an affidavit which is defined as a declaration of facts written down and sworn to by the declarant before an official authorized to administer oaths. (Black’s Legal Dictionary) It has also been defined by the highest court in the land as a solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. (Crawford) (emphasis added). Upon reviewing the “certificates” presented by the prosecution in the case against the defendant, the Davis court determined that said certificates were the functional equivalent of live, in court testimony, as it does precisely what a witness does during direct examination, establishes or proves a certain fact.

In the specific case against Melendez-Diaz the government and the dissent raised a number of arguments, all of which the Majority opinion was able to successfully thwart by reviewing previous case law on the issue. The first argument raised was that analysts were not “accusatory” witnesses. The Court, using a strict interpretation of the Constitution, held that it was not that an individual is accusatory which demands confrontation, but instead it is that the witness is being brought “against” the defendant. In order to testify “against” someone an individual provides testimony against the defendant by proving one fact which is necessary for conviction. Furthermore, the Court outlined two (2), and only two (2), classifications of witnesses: there are those that are used against the witness, which must be produced according to the Confrontation Clause, and those that are in favor of the defendant, which the defendant may chose to call pursuant to Compulsory Process. There is no classification for “accusatory witnesses”

The second argument raised was that analysts are not “conventional” witnesses as they did not perceive the actual crime created nor did they observe any human action related to said criminal activity. The Court, however, was not convinced in this reasoning as it would exempt all expert testimony from the Confrontation Clause since most expert witnesses have neither witnessed the crime or any human action related to the crime. Furthermore, the Court went on to analogize an individual who is asked by the police to write down what he or she saw to a request made by the police to analyze an object and to interpret what said test results reveal; both of which are similar and should be treated similarly.

The third argument was that there was a significant difference between testimony which recounts a historical event and testimony in regards to neutral, scientific evidence. This argument, however, was too similar to the reasoning in Ohio v. Roberts, in regards to the indicia of reliability, which was overturned in Crawford. The Court noted that there are a number of reasons why the reliability of the test must withstand the cross examination process. These reasons highlighted in particular the fact that the majority of laboratories for forensic evidence are administered by a law enforcement agency and reports from said laboratories must frequently be submitted to the head of the agency which can lead to pressure or incentives to alter evidence in a manner favorable to the prosecution. In addition, the Court likened an analyst who falsified a lab report to a witness who fabricated his or her story when providing information to the police and stated that the fear of cross examination will act as a deterrent in the offering of such false reports. Finally, the Court analogized a forensic analyst to an expert witness who is asked to render his or her opinion. Without the ability to cross examine neither the analyst’s, nor the expert’s training, or lack thereof, will be highlighted for the jury and the jury will, therefore, be missing a crucial fact to weigh the expert’s or analyst’s credibility.

Another argument raised was that the analyst’s report is a business record and as such can be admissible regardless of hearsay issues. This argument, like the above mentioned arguments, is also fatally flawed as the Court in Palmer v. Hoffman expressly stated that even where a report is created in the regular course of business, if said report is also the production of evidence for the use of trial the Confrontation Clause will apply. The Court in Melendez-Diaz used this case and stated specifically that an analyst report, while possibly a business record, will always be prepared for use essentially in court and as such is bound to the requirements of the Confrontation Clause. The very nature of the business records exception is that the report is created for the administration of the entity’s affairs and not for the proving or establishing some fact, this fact alone is what makes said documents not testimonial. Where, however, it is prepared for the possibility of being used at trial it makes that same report testimonial in nature and therefore subject to the Confrontation Clause.

The next argument is that a defendant can easily subpoena the analyst to appear at trial. This argument, however, overlooks the fundamental principle that the prosecution has the burden of presenting its witnesses and that it is not the defendant’s burden to bring any adverse witnesses into trial. Moreover, just because a defendant has the ability to subpoena an individual does not guarantee that that individual will agree to testify or even appear at trial further highlighting the need for the prosecution to bring forth any witness against the defendant.

The final argument brought forward is that by requiring analysts to testify, the court will be run less efficiently and trials will drag on. The Court does not agree with this assumption, however, as there are a number of states which have their own statutory provisions requiring analysts to be present in court when the report is entered into evidence and such inefficiency has not yet been noticed. The Court further stated that inefficiency, alone, will never defeat or overcome a Constitutional right. While a defendant will always have the burden to raise a Confrontation Clause claim, there may still be limitations on raising that claim which include a notice-and-demand requirement which some states have already created. This requirement will place a timing limitation on when such claims can be raised and the Melendez-Diaz court has expressly stated that the simple notice-and-demand requirement is constitutional as it has not revoked the defendant’s right to making said claim, it only places a limit on when that claim can be made. Finally, the Court noted that it will be highly unlikely for defense attorneys to insist on live testimony which will only highlight, rather than cast doubt on forensics, and that defense counsel will only demand the presence of an analyst when the procedures used or other similar issue is present in the case at hand thereby removing the concern over inefficiency from concern.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosofutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

One response to “Piece of Paper Reads: “You’re Guilty”. Well Not Any More.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *