Posted on

Frye vs. Daubert


1. In Frye v. United States, James Frye was accused of the murder of a physician. Frye first admitted that he had committed the crime when he was first arrested, but later took back his statement and claimed he was innocent. In court, Frye wanted to prove his innocence by taking what is now known as a polygraph test. The court would not allow it and Frye was found guilty and spent the rest of his life in prison. The polygraph was not allowed[a] because it had never been used before and the court didn’t think there was any science behind it.

In Daubert v. Merrell Dow, a pharmaceutical company was on trial because a family claimed that their children were born with defects because of the medicine from the company. The evidence presented from scientists said the the drug had a connection with the defects. This evidence was not accepted[b] in court because it was too recent and was not accepted by the field.

In both cases, evidence was not admitted because it was too new and the courts had no prior use of it in the court. Evidence had also not been accepted because the field that it pertained to did not generally accept it. The polygraph was eventually allowed in court, but it is not very reliable, since people can learn to beat a polygraph test. The Daubert case made it easier for people to submit evidence and new scientific discoveries into court.

2. In the Zimmerman case, the Frye standard was used. A pretrial using the Frye standard was held to determine of the prosecution was able to submit a recording of a 911 call made by a witness where you can hear Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman. The FBI and other independent investigators used technology to decipher was happen and increase the quality of the sound with generally accepted methods to do so. The court would not allow the 911 calls as evidence but would allow them to be played in the court. The experts examining the recording could not determine which person was speaking.

In Barefoot v. Estelle, the Daubert standard was used. Barefoot killed a police officer in Texas and whether he should receive the death penalty. To receive the death penalty, the person must be considered dangerous and would likely kill again. The prosecutors presented evidence from two psychiatrists saying that Barefoot would remain a danger to society. They answered hypothetical questions to determine this. The American Psychiatric Association did not supported their testimony and said that their answers to the hypothetical questions should not be admissible in court because no one could determine how someone act based on their previous behavior using hypothetical questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *