Forensic Identification Science Evidence Since Daubert: Part I—A Quantitative Analysis of the Exclusion of Forensic Identification Science Evidence
Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue 5, pages 1180–1184, September 2011
How to Cite
Page, M., Taylor, J. and Blenkin, M. (2011), Forensic Identification Science Evidence Since Daubert: Part I—A Quantitative Analysis of the Exclusion of Forensic Identification Science Evidence. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: 1180–1184. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01777.x
- Issue published online: 2 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
- Received 16 Dec. 2009; and in revised form 10 Feb. 2010; accepted 21 Feb. 2010.
- forensic science;
Abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. v. Carmichael transformed the way scientific expert evidence was reviewed in courts across the United States. To gauge the impact of these rulings on the admission of forensic identification evidence, the authors analyzed 548 judicial opinions from cases where admission of such evidence was challenged. Eighty-one cases (15%) involved exclusion or limitation of identification evidence, with 50 (65.7%) of these failing to meet the “reliability” threshold. This was largely because of a failure to demonstrate a sufficient scientific foundation for either the technique (27 cases) or the expert’s conclusions (17 cases). The incidence of exclusion/limitation because of a lack of demonstrable reliability suggests that there is a continuing need for the forensic sciences to pursue research validating their underlying theories and techniques of identification to ensure their continued acceptance by the courts.