Court says lab analyst must testify to own work

June 23, 2011 - 9:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says that the lab analyst who testifies at a criminal trial must be the one who performed or witnessed the lab tests in question, the latest decision bolstering the constitutional requirement that defendants be able to confront witnesses against them.

In a 5-4 decision Thursday, the court ruled in favor of a New Mexico man convicted of drunken driving who objected when the supervisor of a lab analyst testified about a lab report showing the amount of alcohol in his blood.

The ruling reversed a New Mexico Supreme Court decision in the state's favor.