Frye V. United States

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Frye v. United States

In 1923 defendant James Alphonso Frye was convicted of murder in the second degree and appealed the decision. The defense counsel offered an expert witness to testify on the results of a systolic blood pressure deception test, which was the rudimentary precursor to the lie detector. That motion was denied. The defense counsel then offered that another test be conducted in the courtroom but were denied again. The prosecution then argued the “while the courts will go a long way in admitting expert testimony, deduced from a well-recognized scientific principle or discovery, the thing from which the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.” (Nordberg) The appeals court held up the lower court’s decision that a deception test does not meet the required criteria for admission. The defense counsel stated that their case was based on the broad ground that stated: "The rule is that the opinions of experts or skilled witnesses are admissible in evidence in those cases in which the matter of inquiry is such that inexperienced persons are unlikely to prove capable of forming a correct judgment upon it, for the reason that the subject-matter so far partakes of a science, art, or trade as to require a previous habit or experience or study in it, in order to acquire a knowledge of it. When the question involved does not lie within the range of common experience or common knowledge, but requires special experience or special knowledge, then the opinions of witnesses skilled in that particular science, art, or trade to which the question relates are admissible in evidence." (Nordberg) Bibliography

Nordberg, P. (n.d.). Retrieved 6 21, 11, from

Works Cited
Nordberg, P. (n.d.). Retrieved 6 21, 11, from
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