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Supreme Court Endorses Verdict of Chicago Rapist

 Posted on July 02, 2012 in Sexual Assault

On June 18th, the Supreme Court voted on a controversial issue concerning in-court procedures. The Justice’s decision was split 5-4 in conflict with the high court’s ruling that any defendant should have the opportunity to question the expert testimony of a DNA analyst. The issue was presented by a Chicago-area man named Sandy Williams who was convicted of rape but was not allowed to question the reliability of the claims which influenced his sentencing.

Williams was convicted of raping a 22-year old woman in Chicago who was returning home from work and raped by a man in his car. The genetic material was sent for genetic testing to a laboratory in Maryland. With the results of that DNA profile, an analyst from the Illinois state crime lab named Sandra Lambatostestified at the trial and was cross-examined by Williams’ defense attorney.

The DNA expert’s testimony swore that William’s DNA matched a sample taken from the victim, which led to the conviction of Williams. The problem is presented by the fact that the expert played no role in the testing of the samples of William’s DNA. The 3rd party company, named Cellmark, who did the actual tests, was not present to defend their findings. Courts had previously ruled that criminal defendants have the privilege to interrogate the analyst who prepared the results of testing.

The 6th amendment of the Constitution grants that the “accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” This is termed the “Confrontation clause.” Many instances of previous crimes were overturned due to the lack of an analyst’s testimony to the vigor of the testing. A conviction of a drunk driver in New Mexico was overturned because the analyst didn’t testify in the courtroom. Constitutionality plays a vital role in the procedures of court in all aspects of criminal law. An experienced defense attorney will work tirelessly to ensure your rights as an American are held sacred. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Arlington Heights, Illinois today.

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