Law Journal Library - Skip to main content
Content Start

Click here to view short-term subscription options to access this document.

15 Barry L. Rev. 121 (2010)
Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts: The Future of the Confrontation Clause

handle is hein.journals/barry15 and id is 123 raw text is: MELENDEZ-DIAZ V. MASSACHUSETTS: THE FUTURE OF THE
Joseph Henn'
The latest development in the saga of the ever encompassing Confrontation
Clause comes from the Supreme Court, via a five-four vote, in the case of
Melendez-Diaz   v. Massachusetts (Melendez-Diaz), which     takes the   Sixth
Amendment to lengths hard to fathom.2 Simply stated, the Confrontation Clause
now demands that a laboratory technician, who merely performs a routine analysis
to determine if a substance is an illegal drug, is considered a testimonial witness
against the accused. Under the guise of the Confrontation Clause, the accused has
the constitutional right to haul the technician into court. The purpose of this article
is to show the error in the majorities' decision in Melendez-Diaz by approaching
the issue from  two perspectives. First, by investigating the cases and legal
doctrines created by the Supreme Court in the years preceding Melendez-Diaz, I
will demonstrate why the case was erroneously decided.3 Second, I will explore
the possibility that the majority decision was correct and thus the recently devised
standard in Crawford v. Washington (Crawford) is inherently flawed . This article
will discuss the prior application of law before the Melendez-Diaz decision, offer
analysis on the string of cases that led to the Melendez-Diaz decision, and evaluate
where the law went wrong. Finally, this article will introduce a revised legal
doctrine on what should be considered testimonial evidence against an accused
based upon sound policy considerations and the Sixth Amendment rights of the
Prior to the decision handed down in Melendez-Diaz,5 the country had nearly
five years to conform to the sweeping change that the Crawford opinion made to
the Confrontation Clause.6 Only one year after the Crawford decision, Massachu-
setts was confronted with the case of Commonwealth v. Verde (Verde), which was
essentially indistinguishable from  the issue in Melendez-Diaz.  When Verde
I.  J.D. candidate, 2011, Barry University Dwayne 0. Andres School of Law; B.A. (English Literature),
B.A. (History), University of Central Florida, 2008.
2.   See Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 129 S. Ct. 2527 (2009).
3.   See Id.
4.   See Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).
5.   See Melendez-Diaz, 129 S. Ct. at 2527.
6.   See Crawford, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).

Already a Subscriber?

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is the world’s largest image-based and fully searchable legal and academic research database. Material contained in HeinOnline is an exact replication of the original printed product, and coverage is typically comprehensive. Contact us today for a free demo of this incredible resource.

We offer annual subscriptions to all HeinOnline collections to universities, colleges, law firms, individuals, and other institutions. To request a quote or trial, please click here.

Please note: the content in the Law Journal Library is constantly changing and some content has restrictions as required per the license. Therefore, please review the available content via the following link to ensure the material you wish to access is included in the database. For a complete list of content included in the Law Journal Library, please click here.

Learn More About the Law Journal Library (pdf)
Back To Top Jump To Bottom