House v. Bell - Oral Argument - January 11, 2006

House v. Bell

Media for House v. Bell

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 12, 2006 in House v. Bell

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 11, 2006 in House v. Bell

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

We'll hear argument next in House v. Bell.

Mr. Kissinger.

Stephen M. Kissinger:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court--

The jurors which--

Sandra Day O'Connor:

Why don't you raise the level of the podium a little so we can hear you?

Stephen M. Kissinger:

--Is that better, Your Honor?

Sandra Day O'Connor:

Not much.

Stephen M. Kissinger:

One more sound check.

Does that--

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Thank you.

Stephen M. Kissinger:

--Thank you.

The jurors who convicted Mr. House of first degree murder heard that semen stains on the victim's clothing matched Mr. House.

They didn't hear the DNA evidence which showed that not to be the case.

The jurors heard--

Sandra Day O'Connor:

Was that because there was no such analysis at the time?

Stephen M. Kissinger:

--That's correct, Justice O'Connor.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

How many years ago was this trial?

Stephen M. Kissinger:

The trial, Your Honor, was approximately 20 years ago.

The jurors who convicted Mr. House heard that bloodstains on Mr. House's blue jeans matched the blood belonging to the victim.

They didn't hear the assistant chief medical examiner for the State of Tennessee testify that the source of those bloodstains was a sample taken during Ms. Muncey's autopsy, nor did they hear--

Antonin Scalia:

The district court heard that, though, didn't it?

Stephen M. Kissinger:

--That's correct, Justice Scalia.

Antonin Scalia:

And didn't believe it.

Right?

And did not believe it.

Found as a matter of fact that the blood was... was not a result of the spill.

Stephen M. Kissinger:

Justice Scalia, the court made a conclusion that the blood which had spilt from the tube had spilt after... after the blood had been tested.

It did not, however, make a factual finding.

It made a conclusion of law regarding that, Your Honor.

Antonin Scalia:

That... is that a conclusion of law?