Admittedly, I’m a little worked up about Melendez-Diaz. It’s a pretty exciting decision.
What’s worrisome, of course, is that the Supreme Court has the power to change it. Melendez-Diaz was a 5-4 decision, and Justice Souter was in the majority. Which means that if a Justice Sotomayor thinks that it was wrongly decided, it could be gone tomorrow.
There is reason to think Justice Sotomayor will not be great for criminal defendants and their lawyers in general. As a biographical matter, she’s a former prosecutor, and former prosecutors tend to look at the world a little differently than criminal defense lawyers do.
But, happily, someone asked her about Melendez-Diaz in her confirmation hearings!
If you have questions about how federal criminal charges are different than state criminal charges, please visit this page on Maryland federal criminal charges or Washington DC federal criminal charges.
Continue reading →