Copyright (c) 2007 The University of Tulsa
Tulsa Law Review
SYMPOSIUM: DAUBERT, INNOCENCE, AND THE FUTURE OF FORENSIC SCIENCE: MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF THE DAUBERT TRILOGY: REFINING AND REDEFINING THE RELIABILITY OF FORENSIC EVIDENCE
The University of Tulsa Law Review
43 Tulsa L. Rev. 417
Mara L. Merlino,* Victoria Springer,** Jan Seaman Kelly,*** Derek Hammond,**** Eric Sahota,***** and Lori Haines******
Daubert 1 and its progeny, General Electric Co. v. Joiner 2 and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 3 established new guidelines and procedures for determining the evidentiary reliability of expert testimony. Following the Daubert trilogy, the admissibility of expert testimony is presumably based not only on an analysis of the evidence's legal merits and Frye's general acceptance standard, 4 but also on the judicial analysis of the qualifications of the expert, the methods by which the expert arrives at his or her conclusions, and even the conclusions themselves. 5
Judges' interpretations of their gatekeeping responsibilities under the Daubert trilogy have imposed more objective, stringent requirements (relevancy, legal sufficiency, and reliability) for the admissibility of some kinds of evidence which for seventy years had been considered admissible under the Frye decision's general acceptance standard, while other kinds of evidence have remained relatively unaffected by the Daubert trilogy. 6 Confronted with challenges to the admissibility of evidence from their various fields, forensic practitioners have responded to the questions about the reliability of their testimony by seeking ways to both improve their disciplines and demonstrate to judges, attorneys, academicians, and fellow experts that their underlying assumptions, methods, and conclusions meet the requirements of the Daubert trilogy.
This discourse among practitioners, judges, attorneys, law professors, and evidence scholars about how the admissibility of expert testimony from the forensic fields should be determined illustrates an issue relevant to all expert testimony. Gary Edmond wrote
because the various sciences maintain different ...
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