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NCJ Number: 69225 Find in a Library
Title: ADMISSIBILITY OF SPECTROGRAPHIC VOICE IDENTIFICATION IN THE STATE COURTS
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:70  Issue:3  Dated:(FALL 1979)  Pages:349-354
Author(s): J C REYNOLDS; J W WEBER
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ADMISSIBILITY OF SPECTROGRAPHIC VOICE IDENTIFICATION UNDER ACTUAL FORENSIC CONDITIONS BY THE STATE COURTS IS DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF ITS MIXED HISTORY OF REJECTION, ENDORSEMENT, AND RENEWED REJECTION.
Abstract: THIS STUDY TRACES THE LEGAL HISTORY OF THE TECHNIQUE OF SPECTROGRAPHIC VOICE IDENTIFICATION FROM ITS EARLIER REJECTION BY STATE COURTS, BASED ON THE STRINGENT REQUIREMENTS OF THE FRYE TEST FOR ADMISSIBILITY, THROUGH A PERIOD OF QUALIFIED ACCEPTANCE, UP TO ITS CURRENT STATUS OF LACK OF ACCEPTANCE. A CONSENSUS ON THE RELIABILITY OF THIS TECHNIQUE ON THE PART OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IN GENERAL, AND SPEECH SCIENTISTS IN PARTICULAR, IS STILL LACKING. IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES, HOWEVER, A TEMPORARY CHANGE IN JUDICIAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE SPECTROGRAPHIC VOICE IDENTIFICATION WAS BROUGH ABOUT BY THE EFFORTS OF A MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY SCIENTIST AND A STATE POLICEMAN, ACTING AS HIS TECHNICAL ASSISTANT. HOWEVER, AS EXEMPLIFIED BY VARIOUS COURT DECISIONS CITED IN THIS STUDY, JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENT OF THE TECHNIQUE WAS SHORT-LIVED, AND THE SCIENTIFIC RELIABILITY OF THE VOICE IDENTIFICATION TECHNIQUE IS NOT YET SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED TO JUSTIFY A HURRIED ADMISSION IN THE COURTS. THE FINDINGS OF THE COMMISSION ON EVALUATION OF SOUND SPECTROGRAMS, APPOINTED BY THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL AT THE REQUEST OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, INDICATED THE NEED FOR MORE RESEARCH TO SUPPORT THE ASSUMPTIONS ON WHICH THE TECHNIQUE IS BASED, TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF FREQUENTLY ENCOUNTERED VARIABLES ON THE ACCURACY OF IDENTIFICATION, AND TO QUANTIFY ADDITIONAL CRITERIA. THE RECENT TREND IN THE STATE COURTS WITH RESPECT TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF SPECTROGRAPHIC VOICE IDENTIFICATION HAS BEEN TOWARDS CAUTION. THE JUDICIAL CONSENSUS AT THIS TIME APPEARS TO BE THAT SPECTROGRAPHIC VOICE IDENTIFICATION SHOULD NOT BE ADMITTED AT TRIAL UNTIL THE TECHNIQUE HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AS RELIABLE BY THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY. FIFTY FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Evidence; Rules of evidence; Voice identification
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69225

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