By Devin Rose
An Oak Park public defender argued against River Forester (and Cook County State's Attorney) Anita Alvarez earlier this month before the U.S. Supreme Court about who is considered a witness under the Sixth Amendment, the Chicago Tribune recently reported.
The amendment says the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him in court. But justices were divided over whether witnesses included lab analysts who submit reports to the prosecution.
In the case before the court, Sandy Williams, a Chicago man convicted of rape, said his conviction should be overturned because the lab analyst who did his DNA profile did not testify at his trial, the Tribune reported. An analyst at the Illinois crime lab, which sent a semen sample to a Cellmark lab in Maryland, did testify. Cellmark sent back the DNA profile.
Alvarez defended the conviction, arguing Cellmark was not the witness against Williams. But Brian Carroll of Oak Park said the analyst who testified relied entirely on the profile done at Cellmark, but no one testified as to how that analysis was done.
It will be several months before a decision is handed down, the Tribune reported.