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Williams v. Illinois

567 U.S. 50 (2012)

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Williams v. Illinois

United States Supreme Court

567 U.S. 50 (2012)

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Facts

Sandy Williams (defendant) was charged with rape. The prosecution called Sandra Lambatos, a forensic specialist, as an expert witness. Lambatos testified about a DNA profile that was created by Cellmark, an independent laboratory, from semen found in the victim’s vagina. The DNA profile matched Williams’s DNA. Lambatos testified that Cellmark was an accredited laboratory. However, Lambatos did not testify as to how the specific Cellmark DNA profile had been created. The prosecution also did not call the Cellmark analyst who had created the DNA profile to testify. Williams was convicted. The trial court ruled that Lambatos could assume the DNA profile was valid without testifying to its validity. The Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court both affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

Dissent (Kagan, J.)

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