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Supreme Court Deals 'Crippling Wound' to Law, Samuel Alito Says

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« There is no good reason for this radical change, » Alito said Friday.
Justice Samuel Alito said the Supreme Court had dealt a « crippling wound » to modern-day law procedures in a new ruling on a Sixth Amendment case.
The court issued an unanimous ruling in Smith v. Arizona on Friday, overturning an appellate court decision that affirmed Jason Smith’s guilty verdict and limiting the admissibility of expert statements made outside of the court.
The court remanded the case for further hearings.
Smith had been charged with multiple felonies related to drug possession after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his father’s property. During the trial, a forensic scientist testified that the substances seized were illegal drugs. Smith argued the testimony violated his confrontation rights because the expert relied on data from an expert who did not take the stand.
« Our holding today follows from all this Court has held about the Confrontation Clause’s application to forensic evidence », Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the opinion. « A State may not introduce the testimonial out-of-court statements of a forensic analyst at trial, unless she is unavailable and the defendant has had a prior chance to cross-examine her.

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