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Prosecutors, analysts deal with Melendez-Diaz fallout (access required)

Between Sept. 1 and Nov. 12, analysts in the drug section of the Roanoke laboratory of the Department of Forensic Science received 13 subpoenas from the localities in the region farthest removed from the lab. The analysts spent 74 hours out of the office, traveled 2,600 miles and testified only twice for a total of 10 ...


  1. Imagine that! Don’t worry about inconveniencing the Commonwealth when they’re talking about putting someone in jail for a few years–it’s only a defendant. Thou shalt not sacrifice someone on the altar of prosecutoiral expediency.

  2. I must question the accuracy of Gail D. Jaspen, the chief deputy director. I recently tried a case (October) where two chemists from the Roanoke office testified and were very definitely cross examined. (Commonwealth v. Doss – Pittsylvania Circuit Court).

    If she so cavalierly treats the fact that those two chemists did testify on both direct and cross examination, and Ms. Jaspen hasn’t included that case in her statistics, I am left to seriously question the credibility of the remainder of her statements and statistics and wonder how much her “facts” have been massaged to fit a particular characteristic that the decision of Melendez-Diaz has grossly taxed the resources of the Commonwealth.

    I guess justice and equal protection under the laws, as well as the right of confrontation, are important only if the exercise of those rights don’t cost the state a lot of money.

    If the courts and the General Assembly had protected the right of confrontation in the first place, there wouldn’t have even been a “problem” that needed to be solved.

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