The Second Department determined the admission of hearsay DNA evidence (a report made by an analyst who did not testify), although it violated the Confrontation Clause, was harmless error because the inadmissible evidence was cumulative:
The defendant correctly contends that his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment were violated when the Supreme Court admitted a nontestifying DNA analyst’s report linking the defendant to DNA evidence recovered at the crime scene … .
“Confrontation Clause violations are subject to a constitutional harmless error analysis” … . “Constitutional error requires reversal unless the error’s impact was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt'” … . “This determination is based on a review of the entire record”… ..
Here, in addition to the erroneously admitted report, the People presented evidence directly linking the defendant to the burglary. Specifically, the nontestifying analyst’s supervisor testified that she herself analyzed the raw data from the evidence collected at the crime scene and the DNA collected from the defendant and drew her own conclusions. Thus, the erroneously admitted report was cumulative, as the expert who did testify reached that same conclusion after comparing the same raw data relied upon by the nontestifying analyst. Since there was no reasonable possibility that the erroneously admitted report contributed to the defendant’s conviction, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt … . People v Cartagena, 2015 NY Slip Op 02136, 2nd Dept 3-18-15