NM court rules against video testimony in DWI case

Posted at: 03/26/2013 7:45 AM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico court ruling once again says trial judges generally must require that witnesses in criminal cases testify in person and not by two-way video.

The state Court of Appeals ruled in a Farmington man's DWI case that the constitutional right to confront a witness generally requires face-to-face encounters.

According to the ruling, the trial judge shouldn't have allowed video testimony by a state lab analyst about blood-test results. The ruling overturns Vernard Thomas Smith's conviction for driving under the influence.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling in 2012 in another case from San Juan County. That case also involved video testimony by a State Crime Lab analyst.

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