Answer the questions in at least a 500-words response. APA formatting and please cite and reference What is the function of the Frye case and how does it affect expert witness testimony? If it doesn’t impact a witness’ testimony, explain why? What evidence can you find to argue it is still useful? Please click the link and read the article by Ashlock (2010) entitled “Expert witness: Effective courtroom testimony”
https://www.forensicmag.com/article/2010/02/expert…Also, I attached the transcript
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CRM344 Module 4 AVP Transcript
Hello, and welcome to Module 4. I will provide some additional thoughts on the material that will
be covered during this module. The title of this module is Case Law & Forensic Science.
As it were, prior to 1923, there were no minimum standards or requirements for items to be
entered into a trial as evidence. For example, an attorney could use anyone in a particular field
to render their opinion about a piece of evidence or have them submit results from their
research as evidence. The Frye opinion was offered in a 2nd degree homicide trial. The
defense wanted to utilize a lie detector test during the course of the trial to show the defendant
was not lying. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The higher court decided
that because the polygraph was not generally accepted by the scientific community, it could not
be used as “scientific evidence” providing guilt or innocence.
The Frye Standard is often referred to as a two-pronged test. First, the field of study in which
the expert is giving their opinion must be identified; and second, others in this same scientific
community must generally accept the principles supporting the expert’s opinion. For example,
forensic bloodstain pattern analysis utilizes the scientific principles of physics and trigonometry.
In doing so, this method of analyzing blood evidence is generally accepted by the forensic
community, as a bloodstain can be measured by its width and length and a trigonometric
function can be utilized to determine an area of origin for several bloodstains.
The 2nd prong of the Frye Standard said that the Court must determine if the process is
generally accepted by a relevant segment of the scientific community. In essence, the test
presents a number of appropriate aspects to the court which exemplify that the test meets
sound scientific principles and would be accepted by the scientific field/community. Sadly, the
issues with Frye are that it has triggered discussion and debate on its flexibility to deal with
many of the new scientific issues and techniques now accepted in the scientific community,
such as the collection of “touch” DNA and multiple SNTP analysis, to name a few.
The Federal Rules of Evidence are an alternative to the Frye standard. Many courts accept that
the FRE provide a more flexible standard that does NOT rely on general acceptance as an
absolute prerequisite for admitting scientific evidence. In fact, parts of the FRE govern the
admissibility of ALL evidence in Federal Court. Additionally, many states have adopted codes
similar to those of the FRE. The most common Federal Rules of Evidence include:
(a) Rule 702, regarding Testimony by Experts, which states that:
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert
by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of
an opinion or otherwise, if (a) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data; (b) the
testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; (c) the witness has applied
the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case; and (d) all other criteria
(b) Rule 703, regarding Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts, which states that:
The facts or data in the particular case upon which an expert bases an opinion or
inference may be those perceived by or made known to the expert at or before the
hearing, (a) if of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field in forming
opinions or inferences upon the subject, the facts or data need not be admissible in
evidence in order for the opinion or inference to be admitted, and (b) facts or data that
are otherwise inadmissible shall not be disclosed to the jury by the proponent of the
opinion or inference unless the court determines that their probative value in assisting
the jury to evaluate the expert’s opinion substantially outweighs their prejudicial effect.
And (c) Rule 706, regarding Court Appointed Experts, which states that for appointing a witness
as an expert in a court of law:
(a) the court may on its own motion or on the motion of any party enter an order to show
cause why expert witnesses should not be appointed, and may request the parties to
submit nominations; (b) the court may appoint any expert witnesses agreed upon by the
parties, and may appoint expert witnesses of its own selection; (c) an expert witness
shall not be appointed by the court unless the witness consents to act; (d) a witness so
appointed shall be informed of the witness’ duties by the court in writing, a copy of which
shall be filed with the clerk, or at a conference in which the parties shall have opportunity
to participate; (e) a witness so appointed shall advise the parties of the witness’ findings,
if any; the witness’ deposition may be taken by any party; and the witness may be called
to testify by the court or any party; and (f) the witness shall be subject to crossexamination by each party, including a party calling the witness.
These rules recognize admissibility of opinions and expert testimony. While there are additional
rules under Article VII, the preceding three are most often encountered in cases involving
forensic evidence and scientific testimony provided by forensic investigators and scientists.
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