The Ohio Supreme Court has held that When a defendant has stipulated to the admissibility and content of a nontestifying analyst’s scientific report, the testimony of a witness who relied on that report does not violate the defendant’s right to
The case is State v. Keck, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-5160.]
In 2009 the defendant was found guilty of rape, gross sexual imposition, pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering obscenity to a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented
material or performance, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, and kidnapping.
An expert from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (“BCI”) had created a DNA profile for defendant and the alleged victims from buccal swabs.
The defendant’s attorney stipulated both the admissibility and content of the BCI expert’s report. At trial, another BCI forensic scientist testified that she had used the known DNA profiles generated by the first expert to compare against the DNA profiles that she had generated from samples collected from other evidence in the case.
This case involves the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Sixth Amendment provides that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right * * * to be confronted with the witnesses against him * * *.”
In Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 124 S.Ct. 1354, 158 L.Ed.2d 177 (2004), the
the United States Supreme Court held that “testimonial statements” of a witness absent from trial can be admitted only where the declarant is unavailable and the defendant has had a prior opportunity to cross-examine.
In a later case, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305, 129 S.Ct. 2527, 174 L.Ed.2d 314 (2009), the Court held that a defendant was entitled to confront an expert who provided testimony about illegal drugs at trial. Finally, in Williams v. Illinois, ___ U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2221, 183 L.Ed.2d 89 (2012), the Court the Confrontation Clause did not bar the use of out-of-court statements that are related by an expert solely for the purpose of explaining the assumptions on which the expert’s opinion rests.
The stipulation by the defendant was key in this case. The Ohio Supreme Court held that by stipulating to the admissibility and content of the report, the defendant had waived any right to challenge the next expert’s reliance on it on the grounds that her testimony violated his right to confrontation.
The court further noted tat it “is especially revealing that, according to the record, the state was prepared and willing to call [the expert] to testify before [the defendant] agreed to the stipulation. It was thus [the defendant’s] own decision thatrendered [the] testimony unnecessary.”