Monday, February 28, 2011

US Supreme Court - Crawford related opinion today

Michigan v. Bryant (09-150) – By a vote of six to two  (with Justice Kagan recused), the Court vacated and remanded the decision of the Michigan Supreme Court.  In an opinion by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held that a statement given to police by a wounded crime victim identifying the person who shot him may be admitted as evidence at the trial if the victim dies before trial and thus does not appear.  The Court concluded that because the  primary purpose of the interrogation was to enable police to deal with an ongoing emergency, the statements resulting from that interrogation were not testimonial and could be admitted without violating the Confrontation Clause.

Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg each filed separate dissents.