Lack of DNA Testimony Could Be Appealed To High Court

Aug 27, 2013

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's public defender's office is seriously considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases involving rape convictions where DNA analysts' reports were used but the analysts themselves never testified.

The Daily Record of Baltimore reports that the chief of the forensics division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Stephen B. Mercer, says the office is looking appealing one or both cases. One case involves Orville Cooper, who was convicted of a 2006 rape. The other case involves Norman Bruce Derr, who was convicted of a 1984 rape. In both cases, witnesses cited DNA reports but the analysts never testified.

The Supreme Court in 2012 upheld a DNA analysis in which the analyst did not testify, but the decision did not yield a majority opinion.