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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140657 Find in a Library
Title: Attempts To Limit the Scope of the Frye Standard for the Admission of Scientific Evidence: Confronting the Real Cost of the General Acceptance Test
Journal: Behavioral Sciences and the Law  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:(Autumn 1992)  Pages:441-454
Author(s): E J Imwinkelried
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although limiting the Frye rule for accepting expert testimony regarding scientific evidence would be desirable, two proposed limitations achieve that goal by questionable methods.
Abstract: Established in 1923 in the case of Frye v. United States, the rule requires that to be admissible, the scientific principle or technique have gained general acceptance in the field to which it belongs. In the last decade, judges have increasingly limited the scope of the Frye rule. One trend is to exempt psychological testimony and other specific types of scientific testimony from the Frye standard. Another emerging trend is to restrict the rule to criminal cases. Although these limitations reduce the cost of the Frye rule, the limitations are spurious. No solid case has been made for limiting the rule to instrumental techniques in science. In addition, limiting it to criminal cases is wrong-minded. Therefore, legislatures and courts should confront the real policy choice: abandoning the Frye rule due to its intolerable cost or forthrightly paying the cost and applying the general acceptance test to all species of scientific evidence in all types of cases. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Expert witnesses; Rules of evidence
Index Term(s): Appellate court decisions; Technical experts
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