The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George

 

SC20101 - State v. Walker (Felony murder; manslaughter first degree with firearm; attempt to commit robbery first degree; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; certification from Appellate Court; "The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether Appellate Court correctly concluded that the defendant, Eugene L. Walker, failed to establish a violation of his right under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution to confront witnesses against him. Specifically, the defendant asserts that the state violated his right to confrontation by introducing evidence at trial that his DNA profile, which had been generated from a postarrest buccal swab, matched the DNA found on evidence from the crime scene without calling as a witness the analyst who processed the buccal swab and generated the DNA profile used in that comparison.

The defendant's DNA profile was created after his arrest in aid of an ongoing criminal investigation and under circumstances objectively indicating that it was created for the primary purpose of being used as evidence in the defendant's criminal case. In addition, the sole analyst who testified about the DNA evidence at trial neither performed nor observed the analysis of the buccal swab that produced the DNA profile and, therefore, was not a sufficient substitute witness to satisfy the defendant's right to confrontation. We conclude that, under the specific circumstances of this case, the defendant has established a violation of his right to confrontation. As a result, we reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")