Monday, February 13, 2006

SCOTUS orders response in Lackey

As is the normal practice, the state had waived a response in Lackey v. Kansas, a cert petition filed by Pat Dunn from a KSC decision saying that Crawford does not apply to autopsy reports. (Here is the KSC decision). The SCOTUS ordered a response due on March 9.

We shouldn't read too much into this, although it is better than the alternative (cert petition denied). The SCOTUS has frequently ordered such a response without any further positive action in a case. As you may know, the SCOTUS is hearing a couple of compainion cases that may help define "testimonial" for purposes of Crawford analysis. (See Professor Friedman's Confrontation Blog here for more details). Maybe there could be some interest in Lackey in relation to any further explanation in one of those new cases.

[Update: The SCOTUS denied cert without comment on April 3, 2006. In light of the pending Crawford cases, I think there is likely to be more litigation in this area, so if you have an autopsy report coming in without the doctor, keep making those Sixth Amendment objections!]

No comments: