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Name: People v. Holmes
Case #: B222971
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/24/2012

In California, for the purposes of the Sixth Amendment, a statement is not testimonial unless it is made both with some degree of formality or solemnity and its primary purpose pertains in some fashion to the criminal prosecution. At appellant’s trial for first degree murder, forensic scientists offered opinions that DNA samples taken from items of evidence matched that of appellant’s DNA profile and the victim’s DNA profile. The scientists relied on tests that they did not personally perform. The court found no violation of a Sixth Amendment right to confrontation because the forensic data and reports relied on by the DNA experts were not testimonial. Simply because a statement is prepared for use at trial is not alone sufficient to render it “testimonial.” It must also be formalized. Here none of the documents in question was an affidavit or other formalized testimonial material.