Petitioners were suspects of an execution-style shooting of six in Boston's Chinatown in 1991. The two petitioners were arrested in China in 1999 and 2000, respectively. At trial, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts introduced documents from airlines, dated shortly after the shooting, purporting to show the petitioners fleeing the United States. Petitioners challenged the introduction of the evidence, claiming the evidence violated their rights under the Confrontation Clause.
The court denied the petitioners' motion, finding that the flight records were business records that are generally exempt from the Confrontation Clause right. Because business records are not testimonial, the petitioners had no right for confrontation.
This is a fairly straightforward case, although the underlying facts are quite dramatic. This seems more like a desperation move by the petitioners to delay their death penalty.
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