A few weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court decided Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. The howl from many representing various government entities throughout the country has generally taken the tone of, "How can they [citizen accused, lawyers, and the supreme court] expect us to bring these witnesses to court?" What? Maybe some of these folks need to read a bit more about the constitution and take a reality pill. Time to muzzle that howling.
Ask the average citizen to interpret the rather simple phrase, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him..." and you will have no problem with people saying that it means that the government must bring people who will provide evidence against a citizen to court and put them on the witness stand in court in the accused's presence so that they can be confronted by the accused. It should hardly take a holding by the United States Supreme Court to give effect to such simple language. Too many in government just do not get it.
The Supreme Court has set in motion a tidal wave of common sense that will require those who work for the government to recognize that no one really wants to blindly accept as "reliable" all that is done by the government. Yet, this belief was prevalent among many in government: that is, that since government was doing it, evidence from the government was inherently reliable and thus did not need to be subject to confrontation or cross examination in a courtroom.
As many will learn, I am opposed to many things government, especially when government imposes on the people, but I will save the scope of that for some later musing For now, it is sufficient to note that I firmly believe that whatever the scope of the government activity at issue, it serves "we the people" not the other way around. The Supreme Court has assured that those accused by the government will get to confront and cross examine the evidence offered against them by the government as a basis to convict them. It is as it should be and those who think otherwise need to have a little law4lunch.
3 weeks ago