Upcoming Criminal Justice Issues in the SCOTUS

The following cases on the January argument calendar for the Supreme Court of the United States are of interest to criminal law practitioners.

Mon., Jan. 11:

Briscoe v. Virginia (07-11191) — Scope of crime lab analysts’ role in a criminal trial; sequel to Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, on Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights. The Melendez-Diaz case, which was decided earlier this year, requires the prosecution, when it presents a lab report as evidence in a criminal trial, to make the analyst who prepared it available for cross-examination by defense counsel. Sadly, the 5-4 decision may already be in jeopardy. More….

Tue., Jan. 12:

U.S. v. Comstock (08-1224) — Constitutionality of court-ordered civil commitment for federal convicts who are at the end of their sentences and people who have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial when deemed to be “sexually dangerous.”

1/29/10 Revision. Changed category from “Cases of Note” to “Case Law.”

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