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Featured Case

The Source Code Used to Connect DNA From the Murder Scene to the Defendant Generated a Report Which Implicated the Defendant and Was Therefore Testimonial, However, the Source Code, as a Form of Artificial Intelligence, Was Not the Declarant; Therefore the Fact That Defendant Was Not Provided With the Source Code Did Not Violate His Right to Confront the Witnesses Against Him

The Third Department, in a full-fledged opinion by Justice Pritzker, over a concurrence, determined the evidence concerning the TrueAllele source code used to connect the DNA found at the murder scene to the defendant was testimonial, but the source code, as artificial intelligence, was not the declarant. Therefore the fact that the defendant was not provided with the source code (which was not requested by the defendant during the trial) did not deprive defendant of the right to confront the witnesses against him. Rather, the Third Department found, the witness who testified about how the source code was used in the DNA testing was the declarant. Defendant had raised the intriguing question whether the source code, as a form of artificial intelligence, was the actual declarant triggering the right of confrontation. People v. Wakefield, 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 06143, Third Department, 8-15-19

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New York appellate courts release, on average, between 150 and 200 decisions per week. The CasePrepPlus service summarizes the most significant decisions, which include substantive discussions of the facts and the law, into one-paragraph summaries, which are prefaced by succinct headings, allowing the reader to quickly decide whether a case is of interest. Each summary is linked to the full decision. Keeping up with the decisions released the week before, a process which could easily take an individual attorney numerous hours every week, takes only minutes with CasePrepPlus.

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Our thanks to Roy Warner, Esq., the creator of CasePrepPlus, the primary author of the CasePrepPlus service prior to Mr. Freeman’s involvement, and a NYSBA member for over 40 years.