Court questions lab test used to convict rapist

AP News
Posted: Dec 06, 2011 2:19 PM
Court questions lab test used to convict rapist

The Supreme Court has questioned the testimony of a DNA expert that helped convict a man of rape, the latest high court case to focus on the meaning of the constitutional requirement that defendants be able to confront witnesses against them.

The justices on Tuesday considered the convicted rapist's claim that his constitutional rights were violated when the expert testified that the man's DNA matched a sample taken from the victim, even though the expert played no role in the tests that extracted genetic evidence from the victim's sample.

In addition, no one from the company that performed the analysis showed up at the trial to defend it.

The court has previously ruled that defendants have the right to cross-examine the forensic analysts who prepare laboratory reports used at trial.