Admission of lab report: People v. Bowman

Mar 30, 2010

In this case, the California Court of Appeal held that the case Melendez-Diaz did not alter the California rule that an in-court witness may rely on laboratory notes and reports, even if prepared by a different individual, to support the witness’s expert opinion.

Melendez-Diaz held that the admission of a written document to establish laboratory results violates the Sixth Amendment. (Melendez-Diaz, supra, 557 U.S. at p. ___ [129 S.Ct. at p. 2532].

However, the California Court of Appeal concluded that the scenario in Bowman – where a criminalist other than the one who did the testing – gave expert testimony on the chemical testing of the suspected methamphetamine — does not violate a defendant’s confrontation rights.

The case is: People v. Bowman, 10 CDOS 3656 (CA 5th).