State v. Bailey

In State v. Bailey, 144 Vt. 86, 475 A.2d 1045 (1984), a case involving a sexual assault in the defendant's bedroom, we found that the defendant made the preliminary showing of a "reasonable possibility" that analysis of the defendant's sheets and bedding, as promised by the State when it seized this evidence, could have shown an absence of sperm or other secretions. See id. The Court concluded that the State was negligent in failing to perform the analysis while it was possible to do so, although the State promised the defendant that it was doing the analysis and thus effectively prevented the defendant from doing so independently. Id. at 96, 475 A.2d at 1051. The Court also concluded, however, that the evidence was not important because the passage of the two days meant that the bedding could have been changed and because the evidence against the defendant was otherwise strong. Id. Accordingly, the Court found no violation of Article 10. Id. at 97, 475 A.2d at 1052.