Monday, April 16, 2012

Daubert and criminal justice

Over on LinkedIn, some have suggested that Daubert really isn't as helpful in criminal cases as it has been in civil courts. Here's an opinion from Peter J. Neufeld, JD, on defending science.org: "An analysis of post-Daubert decisions demonstrates that whereas civil defendants prevail in their Daubert challenges, most of the time criminal defendants almost always lose their challenges to government proffers. But when the prosecutor challenges a criminal defendant’s expert evidence, the evidence is almost always kept out of the trial. This is true in both federal and state courts. And even though Frye remains the test in more than a dozen states, criminal defendants fared no better under Frye. In the first 7 years after Daubert, there were 67 reported federal appellate decisions reviewing defense challenges to prosecution experts. The government prevailed in all but 6, and even among the 6, only 1 resulted in the reversal of a conviction. In contrast, in the 54 cases in which the defense appealed a trial court ruling to exclude the defendant’s expert, the defendant lost in 44 cases. In 7 of the remaining 10, the case was remanded for a Daubert hearing."

While the article is more than seven years old, it's still relevant. It also has a wealth of resources in it's reference list. It begs a lot of questions - mainly, why do privateer experts not fare as well in criminal cases? Is money really the issue?

Interesting none the less.

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