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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136823 Find in a Library
Title: Duty and Responsibility of the Identification Witness
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:42  Issue:3  Dated:(May/June 1992)  Pages:197-204
Author(s): L W Davidson
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 8
Type: Presentation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This address examines the qualities and responsibilities of the expert identification witness, with attention to these aspects of the first identification expert used in court, i.e., the English bloodhound.
Abstract: The English bloodhound has the ability to track persons based on the presence of their scent at a crime scene. For bloodhound evidence to be admitted at trial, the dog must be shown to be pure-blooded, be specially trained to track human beings, be reliable based on previous tests, and have been free at all times during the trailing to have acted on his/her own volition. The circumstances and conditions existing at the time the dog was put upon the trail, as also those during the trailing, must also be shown. Like the bloodhound, an expert witness should and must be specially trained in the particular field regarding which testimony is to be offered. Just as the bloodhound does not know the person being trailed or have any other motive in his/her activity except to apply his/her training and ability to find the person with the scent being trailed, so the human expert witness should at all times adhere to the principle that testimony will be based only on the facts determined on the basis of specialized training, experience, and skill. Finally, the expert witness should be as free from interference or suggestion in identification conclusions as is required of the bloodhound.
Main Term(s): Expert witnesses
Index Term(s): Competency to testify; Suspect identification; Witness credibility
Note: This was an address delivered to the 32nd Annual IAI Educational Conference in Austin, Tex., on October 27, 1947.
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