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Bullcoming v. New Mexico

United States Supreme Court
564 U.S. ___ (2011)


Facts

Donald Bullcoming (defendant) was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and charged by New Mexico (plaintiff). The prosecution’s primary evidence was a forensic laboratory report that certified that Bullcoming’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the DWI legal limit. Curtis Caylor was the analyst that tested Bullcoming’s blood and filled out the report. He was unavailable to testify at trial, so the prosecution called Razatos, another analyst who was familiar with the BAC testing procedures, but did not participate in Bullcoming’s test.  Bullcoming objected to the testimony of Razatos on hearsay and Confrontation Clause grounds. The trial court and the New Mexico Supreme Court held that Razatos’s surrogate testimony met the requirements of the Confrontation Clause and admitted the testimony. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

Concurrence (Sotomayor, J.)

Dissent (Kennedy, J.)

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