The use of toxicology test results against criminal defendants in court could become easier, following a ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The justices ruled 5-2 on Tuesday that toxicology tests are legally parts of autopsies, and therefore can be admitted as evidence without the person who wrote the test results having to testify.
The court’s five conservative justices upheld the conviction of 32-year-old Roderick Mattox, for providing the heroin that killed Samuel Lueck in Waukesha in 2013. Mattox argued that admitting the tests violated his right to question the results’ author during his trial.
The ruling comes amid a split by appeals’ judges on whether toxicology reports can be admitted, as they’re normally written several weeks after routine autopsies take place.