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Standards of Admissibility and Judging Evidence
Transcript of Standards of Admissibility and Judging Evidence
Frye vs. United States
District of Columbia
in order for evidence to be admitted at trial, the questioned procedure/ technique/principles must be “generally accepted” by a meaningful segment of the relevant scientific community
this standard can be met by presenting books/papers or prior judicial decisions
Frye (defendant) was charged with second-degree murder. At trial, Frye’s counsel sought to introduce an expert who would testify as to a “systolic blood pressure deception test” that the expert performed on Frye. The test would allegedly show whether Frye was lying when he testified because blood pressure allegedly rises when a person lies but stays the same when the person told the truth. The trial court rejected the testimony of the expert. Frye was convicted and appealed.
Frye v. US responsible for non-admission of polygraph tests, because they might not be flexible enough to allow for scientific issues that have not yet garnered widespread support in the scientific community
Standards of Admissibility
and Judging Evidence
Federal Rules of Evidence
Espouses a more flexible standard
for admitting scientific evidence.
“the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data,
the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and the witness has applied the principles/methods reliably to the facts of the case.”
Alternative to Frye standard
Rule 702: a witness “qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, expertise, training, or education” may offer expert testimony.
Dauberts vs. Merrill Dow Pharmicuticals
Kumho Tire Company vs. Carl Michael
Coppolino vs. States
U.S. Supreme Court
1. whether the theory or technique is falsifiable, refutable, and/or testable
2. whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication
3. the known or potential error rate
4. the existence of standards and controls concerning its operation
the known or potential error rate
the degree to which the theory/technique is accepted by the scientific community
“general acceptance,” or the Frye standard, is not an absolute prerequisite to the admissibility of scientific evidence under the Federal Rules of Evidence
The trial judge is the “gatekeeper” in judging the admissibility and reliability of scientific evidence presented in their courts.
DAUBERTS VS. MERRILL
Daubert and Schuller submitted expert evidence of their own that suggested that Bendectin could cause birth defects. Daubert and Schuller's evidence, however, was based on in vitro and in vivo animal studies, pharmacological studies, and reanalysis of other published studies, and these methodologies had not yet gained acceptance within the general scientific community.
KUMHO TIRE COMPANY VS. CARL MICHAEL
The Carmichaels sued the manufacturer of the tire, claiming that the tire was defective and the defect caused the accident. The Carmichaels' case rested largely on testimony from a tire failure expert.
COPPOLINO VS. STATES.
Defense argues the succinyl-choline test was new and had not yet gained general acceptance in the toxicology profession.
Amended in 2000