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NCJ Number: 149231 Find in a Library
Title: Frye v. Federal Rules: Admissibility of Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus and Drug Recognition Evaluation Evidence
Journal: The Prosecutor  Volume:28  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1994)  Pages:10-14,17-18
Author(s): J McCurdy
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 7
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article analyzes the admissibility of specific scientific evidence such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) and the Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) under the Frye Standard and the Uniform Rules of Evidence (URE/FRE).
Abstract: According to Frye v. United States, novel scientific evidence can be admitted only if the principle has gained general acceptance in the scientific community in which it belongs. However, the Frye Standard seems to be in conflict with the more recent URE/FRE, which requires the introduction of all relevant evidence and then leaves it up to the judge and jury to give the evidence the proper weight. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court ruled that the Frye Standard has been superseded by the adoption of the FRE. Although this ruling did not apply to State courts, using this rationale would undoubtedly facilitate the introduction of such scientific evidence as HGN and DRE in State courts. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a field test in which a police officer judges the sobriety of a suspect by involuntary eyeball movement. HGN has already been admitted as evidence in several State courts under both the Frye and the URE/FRE standards. Drug Recognition Evaluation uses a 12-step procedure to evaluate a suspect's alcohol or drug-related impairment after he/she has been brought to the police station. So far, it has been admitted as evidence in several States, mostly under the URE/FRE Standard.
Main Term(s): State courts
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; Rules of evidence; Scientific testimony
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