NM Court Rules Against Video Testimony

Mar 26, 2013

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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.