Supreme Judicial Court (September 7, 2010)

A defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation is not violated when a DNA expert testifies to her own opinion regarding the DNA testing conducted by another analyst.

The defendant appealed convictions for first degree murder and armed assault with intent to murder arguing that his right to confrontation was violated when a senior criminalist testified to the results of DNA testing conducted by another analyst. The Court found that the senior criminalist's opinion was properly admitted, stating "that the objective nature of the science underlying DNA analysis strengthens the opinion's probative weight and diminishes the risk of unfair prejudice." The Court found that it was error to admit the senior criminalist's testimony regarding the testing analyst's opinion and findings, but determined that there was no substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice.