That's what is happening in New Mexico, where a convicted murderer serving a life term won a new trial because a DNA prosecution expert in the prosecution's case testified via Skype, denying the defendant Truett Thomas' Sixth Amendment rights to confront witnesses in court, according to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Prosecutors did not subpoena the expert to appear based on defense counsel's initial statement that Skype would "work," and the judge allowed it to happen.
The New Mexico Supreme Court tossed the kidnapping charges, saying the evidence didn't support the charge.
The nation's top court found that lack of face-to-face confrontation was OK when "necessary to further an important public policy and only where the reliability of the testimony is otherwise assured."
The New Mexico top court said a retrial on the murder charges does not amount to double jeopardy because there was sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, despite the Sixth Amendment violation.
Physical evidence containing a full DNA profile matching Defendant was found on Ashford s body in semen on her thigh and under the fingernails of her right hand, and also on the paver stone presumed to be the murder weapon.The jury was informed that unidentified DNA was also present and was alerted in closing arguments to consider the possibility that another person or other people could have been involved.