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Name: Smith v. Arizona
Case #: 22-899
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/21/2024
Summary

U.S. Supreme Court rejects fiction that an expert witness’s recitation of the findings of a non-testifying lab analyst comes in only for the “basis” of the testifying expert’s opinion, rather than for the truth of those underlying facts. “When an expert witness conveys an absent analyst’s statements in support of his opinion, and the statements provide that support only if true, then the statements come into evidence for their truth.” “[I]f those statements are testimonial too . . . the Confrontation Clause will bar their admission.” This holding roughly parallels the California Supreme Court’s opinion in People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-899_97be.pdf