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Indiana Supreme Court limits right to confront witnesses

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that criminal defendants aren’t entitled to question in court every person who handled evidence used against them.

Scott Speers was convicted of burglary and sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing guns from a Martinsville gun shop. The 36-year-old argued on appeal that his right of confrontation was violated because the state failed to present for cross-examination a lab technician who transferred blood evidence from broken glass onto a swab for DNA testing.

The Times of Munster reports ( Speers maintained that the blood transfer was a “crucial step” in the evidence-gathering process.

But the state Supreme Court unanimously rejected that claim. Justice Robert Rucker wrote that it’s up to prosecutors to decide which steps in the evidence chain require testimony.