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Forensic identification science evidence since Daubert: Part I--A quantitative analysis of the exclusion of forensic identification science evidence.

Authors
  • Page, Mark
  • Taylor, Jane
  • Blenkin, Matt
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of forensic sciences
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2011
Volume
56
Issue
5
Pages
1180–1184
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01777.x
PMID: 21884119
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. v. Carmichael transformed the way scientific expert evidence was reviewed in courts across the United States. To gauge the impact of these rulings on the admission of forensic identification evidence, the authors analyzed 548 judicial opinions from cases where admission of such evidence was challenged. Eighty-one cases (15%) involved exclusion or limitation of identification evidence, with 50 (65.7%) of these failing to meet the "reliability" threshold. This was largely because of a failure to demonstrate a sufficient scientific foundation for either the technique (27 cases) or the expert's conclusions (17 cases). The incidence of exclusion/limitation because of a lack of demonstrable reliability suggests that there is a continuing need for the forensic sciences to pursue research validating their underlying theories and techniques of identification to ensure their continued acceptance by the courts.

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