Physical Evidence

Daubert and Frye Standard

Please explain the Frye Standard.

1. The Frye Standard is a standard used to determine the admissibility of an expert’s scientific testimony. A court in which applies the Frye Standard must determine whether or not the method which the evidence was obtained was generally accepted by experts in the field in which it belongs.

When did this standard come into effect and why?

2. The Frye Standard came out of a 1923 legal decision (Frye V United States). It was a case discussing the admissibility of a polygraph test. James Frye was convicted of murder and first admitted his guilt then recanted his confession. The Frye Standard came when they tried to convict on a polygraph test which is not admissible as guilt in the court of law. The Frye Standard is now that all evidence must determine admissibility of an expert in his or her field.

Please explain when a forensic expert witness would have to attend a Daubert hearing.

What is a Daubert hearing?

3. A Daubert hearing is when a counsel objects to a testimony or an expert in general. This hearing usually takes place before a trial and out of ajury’s presence. It is a hearing for a judge to determine if the testimony is an expert in his or her field.

What does it mean that the judge is the “keeper”?

4. The judge has the final motion to determine if the testimony truly proceeds from scientific knowledge.

What would some tests for establishing “validity” be?

5. The judge will determine if the expert has testified before on the testimony or the background he or she has in the field in which the testimony facts will be. The experience of the expert witness and the validity of the evidence itself.

Please explain why these standards are important when determining whether or not physical evidence may be admitted into court.

6. If the judge does not rule that the evidence is valid or the expert witness is actually an expert than they are truly relying on guesses from that witness and not facts. It would not be a fair trial for the Defendant. It goes against the rights every Defendant has in the court of law.

What would happen if these standards didn’t exist?

7. If the standards did not exist I believe the court system would be a complete mess. I think people would be wrongly convicted and would not receive a fair trial.