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Fingerprinting Identification And Understanding The Term Daubert Hearing

3095 words - 12 pages

Fingerprinting Identification and Understanding the Term Daubert Hearing

From the early days, with little literary reference material, to the current day, with substantially more, but still insufficient formation, the science of fingerprint identification has managed to maintain its credibility and usefulness. Although, academic institutions have yet to recognize the field as an applied science and include it in the curricula, which would provide directed research and literary reference, in libraries. Without this academic recognition, progress in the field of fingerprint is destined to be sluggish. Description of fingerprint identification as a forensic science’ or an ~app1ied science’ in no way implies that is not a reliable science. Fingerprint identification, correctly understood and applied, is just as scientifically valid and reliable as any other science and, indeed, more accurate than many. The fingerprint expert applies knowledge gained through training and experience to reach a conclusion. The many uses of fingerprint identification range from criminal investigation to non-criminal matters such as deceased, missing persons and disaster victim identification. Fingerprint identification has been used in the court systems for many years. Yet there are those who that still try to challenge fingerprint science and the experts in the court of law by a Daubert Hearing. In this paper, Daubert Hearing is define and detail outing background of the cases, the Government preparation, the Testimony from both sides, the judge’s verdict and finally, Mitchell’s second trial on this case.
A Daubert Hearing is a term from a civil case entitled Daubert v.Merrell Dow
Pharmaceuticals ,113s. Ct. 2786 (1993). This was the first such case to be brought to court challenging the science of fingerprints. The court accepts the admissibility of scientific evidence in Federal court, and many state and local jurisdictions have adapted to this. Daubert’s opinion states that: the Federal Rules of Evidence superseded General Acceptance’ tests for admissibility of novel scientific evidence. Prior to the Daubert hearing from 1923 until 1993 the rigid general acceptance’ test, which arose from Ftye v. United States, 293 f2d. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) is at odds with the liberal thrust of the Federal Rules of Evidence. It is the trial judge that must still screen scientific evidence to ensure it is relevant and reliable to be used in the court of law. “The focus, of courts, must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions they generate.” The court should consider factors but by no means exclusive criteria in fulfilling its responsibilities by 1) Testing and validation of the theory or technique and what are the results 2) Has peer review being done on the theory or technique or publication on such result. 3) What is the known rate of error or potential on the theory or technique, and 4) what is the “general acceptance or widespread acceptance of this...

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