CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Capra & Tartakovsky on Autopsy Reports and the Confrontation Clause

Daniel J. Capra and Joseph Tartakovsky (Fordham University School of Law and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP) have posted Autopsy Reports and the Confrontation Clause: A Presumption of Admissibility (2 Virginia J. of Criminal Law 62 (2014)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Courts nationwide are divided over whether autopsy reports are “testimonial” under the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause. Resolving that split will affect medical examiners as dramatically as Miranda did police. This article applies the latest Supreme Court jurisprudence to the work of modern medical examiners in a comprehensive inquiry. It argues that autopsy reports should be presumed non-testimonial — a presumption overcome only by a showing that law enforcement involvement materially influenced the examiner’s autopsy report.

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