Update on Briscoe v. VA.

For those following developments in United States v. Blazier, here are some status updates on Briscoe v. Virginia, from Prof. Friedman.

In Blazier (and a somewhat similar case) CAAF has granted the following issues:

No. 09-0441/AF.  U.S. v. Joshua C. BLAZIER.  CCA 36988.  Review granted on the following issue:

WHETHER, IN LIGHT OF CRAWFORD v. WASHINGTON, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), APPELLANT WAS DENIED MEANINGFUL CROSS-EXAMINATION OF GOVERNMENT WITNESSES IN VIOLATION OF HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT OF CONFRONTATION WHEN THE MILITARY JUDGE DID NOT COMPEL THE GOVERNMENT TO PRODUCE ESSENTIAL BROOKS LAB OFFICIALS WHO HANDLED APPELLANT’S URINE SAMPLES AND INSTEAD ALLOWED THE EXPERT TOXICOLOGIST TO TESTIFY TO NON-ADMISSIBLE HEARSAY. SEE MELENDEZ-DIAZ v. MASSACHUSETTS, 557 U.S. ___, 127 S. CT. 2527 (2009).

No. 09-0660/AF.  U.S. v. Moises GARCIA-VARELA.  CCA S31466.  Review granted on the following issue:

I.   WHETHER, IN LIGHT OF MELENDEZ-DIAZ v. MASSACHUSETTS, 557 U.S. ___, 129 S. CT. 2527 (2009), APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO CONFRONT THE WITNESSES AGAINST HIM WHERE THE GOVERNMENT’S CASE CONSISTED OF APPELLANT’S POSITIVE URINALYSIS.

II.  WHETHER TRIAL DEFENSE COUNSEL’S STATEMENT THAT HE DID NOT OBJECT TO THE ADMISSION OF THE DRUG LABORATORY REPORT AT TRIAL WAIVED OR FORFEITED THE CONFRONTATION CLAUSE ISSUE, AND, IF FORFEITED, WHETHER ADMISSION OF THE REPORT CONSTITUTED PLAIN ERROR.

Professor Friedman tells us that:

The Solicitor General has filed an amicus brief in support of Virginia in the Briscoe case. You can read it by clicking here. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have also filed a brief in support of Virginia, and you can read that one by clicking here.

The argument has been set for January 11.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has filed its brief in Briscoe v. Virginia. You can read it by clicking here.

As counsel in Briscoe, Professor Friedman has stopped commenting on the case.  But you can find his comments on the various Crawford issues at his blog:  Confrontation Rights.

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