Introduction to Forensics – 4
Discuss the following cases and the impact they have on Expert Witness testimony: * Frye V. United States
* Daubert V. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
* Kumho Tires Co. V. Carmichael
Faye V. United States
James Alphonzo Frye, was convicted of the crime of murder in the second degree, and from the judgment prosecutes this appeal. In the course of the trial counsel for defendant offered an expert witness to testify to the result of a deception test made upon defendant? The test is described as the systolic blood pressure deception test. It is asserted that blood pressure is influenced by change in the emotions of the witness, and that the systolic blood pressure rises are brought about by nervous impulses sent to the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Prior to the trial defendant was subjected to this deception test, and counsel offered the scientist who conducted the test as an expert to testify to the results obtained. The offer was objected to by counsel for the government, and the court sustained the objection. Counsel for defendant then offered to have the proffered witness conduct a test in the presence of the jury. This was also denied. Polygraph tests are given by experts who can monitor a suspect’s truthfulness or deceit. The court ruled that expert testimony could be used to explain the results of the test. Now, courts allow expert testimony but not polygraph results. Daubert V. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Petitioners Jason Daubert and Eric Schuller are minor children born with serious birth defects. They and their parents sued respondent in California [509 U.S. 582] state court, alleging that the birth defects had been caused by the mothers ingestion of benediction, a prescription anti-nausea drug marketed by respondent. Respondent removed the suits to federal court on diversity grounds. There...