October 2017 Update
Blood alcohol content testing regulations. The California Department of Public Health's Forensic Alcohol Review Committee submitted the long-promised revisions to Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations §§1215—1222.2, regulating the forensic alcohol laboratories and forensic alcohol analysts and providing guidelines for forensic alcohol content testing of those arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. For information on those revised regulations, see chap 3.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (2017). The NFPA has developed more than 300 codes, standards, and guides, which have been published and disseminated to minimize the possibility and effects of fire. NFPA 921, which sets the standards for scientific-based investigation and analysis of fire as well as explosion incidents, was updated in 2017. The revised NFPA 921 standards have been updated throughout chapter 6.
Right to confront and cross-examine expert witnesses. A defense expert's testimony about a defendant's participation in a criminal street gang that is based on other officers' police reports, STEP notices given to the defendant, and field interview (FI) cards violated the Confrontation Clause. An expert, whether a gang expert or forensic evidence expert, cannot testify about specific details of hearsay evidence on which the expert relied in forming an opinion without that evidence being independently admissible. People v Sanchez (2016) 63 C4th 665. See §§2.18, 4.53, 5.41.
In a sexually violent predator trial, a forensic psychiatrist's repeated references to the defendant's hospital records, which had not been admitted independently, and to the expert's recitation of other inadmissible hearsay were prejudicial and violated the Confrontation Clause. People v Landau (2016) 246 CA4th 850. See §2.18.