Barbosa v. Mitchell, No. 14-1926 (1st Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and the unlicensed possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed the convictions. Defendant subsequently filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a federal district court, claiming, inter alia, that evidence provided by an expert witness who relied on and tendered work done by a non-testifying witness violated his right to confrontation under the Sixth Amendment. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the admission of the expert witness’s opinion did not provide a basis for habeas corpus relief; and (2) the admission of the disputed evidence provided by the expert witness violated clearly established law under the Confrontation Clause, but the error was harmless because the evidence was cumulative and because the properly admitted evidence against Defendant was overwhelming.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on March 9, 2016.