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Prosecutors: No reward for late-produced drug chemist reports

Feb 19, 2009 Prosecutors: No reward for late-produced drug chemist reports

Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.)

Prosecutors like getting drug analysis reports into evidence at trial without the chemist’s presence, so that chemists may test more drugs, more drugs, and even more drugs  in an effort to nab more people in the unjust drug war.

Praised be the D.C. Court of Appeals today for having put the prosecution’s feet to the fire by requiring the presence of the chemist to testify where the drug analysis report is not delivered to the defense within the statutorily required time to give the defense an opportunity to decide whether to arrange for the chemist’s presence to testify at trial. Eric R. Washington v. U.S.,, ___ A.2d ___ (D.C. App. Feb. 19, 2009).  

In Washington, on appeal the prosecution conceded that the defense was not delivered the chemist report on time to trigger the defendant’s statutory requirement to seek the chemist’s presence at trial. The trial court should have reached the same result, but did not. Thanks to the D.C. Court of Appeals for reaching the right result.  Jon Katz

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