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200 word response 1 reference/intext citation Due 4/6/2024 Duggar The Daubert standard and the Fryer standard provide a foundation for discerning the

200 word response 1 reference/intext citation Due 4/6/2024

Duggar

The Daubert standard and the Fryer standard provide a foundation for discerning the factors that influenced the admissibility of expert impression evidence in Ramirez v. State. The Fryer standard requires that the court consider whether the expert testimony adopted utilized methods that are widely accepted by specialists in the professional field (LII, 2024). The fryer standard consequently expects that expert testimony should only be admissible if it is widely accepted and adopted by specialists. This eliminates the opportunity for inclusion of noble approaches. That have limited recognition in a field. The Daubert standard expands the boundaries of the qualities of expert testimony that can be expected. The Daubert standard provides that the method should have been subjected to tests and peer reviews that have established reliability and that there should exist standards guiding the application of the methods (LII, 2024). The two standards are the foundation on which Ramirez’ convictions based on tool mark evidence in three previous trials were overturned.

            The prosecution presented tool mark evidence to show that the marks left by the knife in the cartilage could not have been made by another knife. The expert witness for the prosecution explained that knife blades are unique because they have imperfections that cause the steel to leave striations. The expert witness described that the knife blade left striations in the cartilage that was extracted from the murder victim. The prosecution expert witness explained that he compared the striations left on the cartilage with the microscopic striations that the knife left on a stab medium (Court Listener, 2024). Casts were made from the piece of cartilage extracted from the victim and the stab test medium stabbed with the knife. The expert witness asserted that an microscopic observation of the casts revealed that the striations on the cartilage would not have been made by any other knife apart from that which was collected from the accused’s car.

            In the third trial, the prosecution presented 6 expert witnesses to collaborate the expert testimony of the first expert witness. The prosecution’s expert witnesses supported the assertion that the striations would not have been made by another knife because their observation of the casts that the first prosecution expert witness indicated that the same knife was used to make the impressions in the victim’s cartilage and in the stab test tool. The defense also presented an expert witness to rebut the expert evidence from the prosecution. The defense’s sole expert witness explained that the use of casts as a procedure for the identification of knife marks has not been adequately determined to be reliable (Court Listener, 2024). The defense expert witness averred that the prosecution’s expert witness’ procedure lacked objectivity and cannot be expected to be reliable.

            The appeals court held that the method that the expert witness utilized failed the Frye test. The appeal’s court explained that even though prosecution expert witnesses explained that the principles applied by the prosecution’s key expert witness are generally accepted in the field, the expert testimony lacked component necessary for admissibility under Frye’s test. The court claimed that claim of identification were extraordinarily concise. The court also noted that there is no evidence that the method used has been tested and verified in the past with only one article supporting the method (Court Listener, 2024).

            The court also held that there the test method di not meet Daubert’s test. The court explained that there did not exist scientific and peer reviewed journals establishing the scientific acceptability of the method (Court Listener, 202)). Moreover, the court explained that the error rate of the method has never been established. The absence of peer reviewed journals supporting the reliability of the method made the court adopt the position that the method did not have adequate scientific support for accuracy and reliability. The court noted the absence of written authority on the reliability of the method (Court Listener, 2024). The failure of the method used by the prosecution’s expert witness to meet the requirements under Frye’s and Daubert’s test accounts for the overturning of the judgements of prior courts. Consequently, in the final appeal, the prosecution chose to rely upon shoe print instead of tool marks (Miami Herald, 2007). Depending on shoe prints made on the carpet made it possible for the prosecution to secure a conviction.

            Ramirez v. State illustrates that tool mark evidence requires high levels of expert testimony. The expert testimony should pass Fryer’s test by being generally accepted and applied in the scientific community and also pass Daubert’s test through the presence of peer reviewed research indicating the scientific reliability of the method. It is essential to guarantee that expert testimony in tool markings evidence is based on established specialist methods and also supported adequately by existing peer reviewed scientific research to minimize the risk of the evidence being rejected by the court.

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