People v. Doe

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal


Justice Barry Kron

Prosecutors moved to introduce testimony of a criminalist from New York City Police Department. They asserted no Crawford violation was caused by introduction of trial testimony from a criminalist who did not actually lift fingerprints from a demand note found at the scene of a robbery. Defendant argued his right of confrontation was violated by introduction of such testimony as he was unable to cross-examine the actual individual who lifted the prints from the note, another criminalist who was unavailable to testify at trial. Prosecutors noted defendant's confrontation rights were satisfied as he had the opportunity to cross-examine the fingerprint analysis expert who would testify to the match of defendant's fingerprint to the print on the note. They stated merely lifting prints without any type of comparison was neither inculpatory nor exculpatory to defendant, noting the criminalist who lifted the print never identified defendant as leaving the print as no comparison was performed. The court concluded that if prosecution could lay a proper foundation, their application to introduce testimony and subsequent fingerprint photographs and report were admissible.

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