State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) > Court Matters

Voice ID experts

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lin:
Pleading posted at gzlegal:


MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY HEARING REGARDING ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT OPINION TESTIMONY

Mr. O'Mara is seeking a Frye hearing.  U.S. v. Frye, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923)

(Topic title updated by TalkLeft to include new expert reports relased.)

lin:
FromBelow posted this motion last night and it is being discussed here.

cboldt:
Filed on Friday, the 3rd of May.  Must have been later in the day, to account for not appearing on GZLegal site until today.  O'Mara has been on television talking about the voice ID issue.

I predict the court will not exclude the state's expert voice ID witness(es), regardless of the merits of the defense argument.  The question of scientific reliability is outside of her ken, so she'll be faced, herself, with dueling experts.  The state claiming the method is reliable and accepted in the scientific community, and the defense expert claiming the method is not reliable and/or accepted in the scientific community.  Being unable to tell the difference, the court will let the battle of the experts to be presented to the jury.  If she's wrong, all that is at risk is reversal of the decision on appeal.

Philly:
This seems to be exactly the kind of testimony that Frye hearings are meant to exclude - prejudicial statements, cloaked in the trappings of science/credentials.  O'Mara has a good point, in that depending on who one belives is screaming is likely to bias a juror strongly one way or the other.

If the hearing results in the state tipping it's hand and giving the defense a sneak peak at their expert's testimony, that should be useful for O'Mara, regardless of the actual ruling.  If testimony of someone like Tom Owens ends up being allowed in the actual trial, but O'Mara is able to impeach him and make him look foolish, might that even better than having that testimony suppressed?


--- Quote from: cboldt on May 06, 2013, 08:11:47 AM ---Filed on Friday, the 3rd of May.  Must have been later in the day, to account for not appearing on GZLegal site until today.  O'Mara has been on television talking about the voice ID issue.

I predict the court will not exclude the state's expert voice ID witness(es), regardless of the merits of the defense argument.  The question of scientific reliability is outside of her ken, so she'll be faced, herself, with dueling experts.  The state claiming the method is reliable and accepted in the scientific community, and the defense expert claiming the method is not reliable and/or accepted in the scientific community.  Being unable to tell the difference, the court will let the battle of the experts to be presented to the jury.  If she's wrong, all that is at risk is reversal of the decision on appeal.

--- End quote ---

cboldt:

--- Quote from: Philly on May 06, 2013, 09:35:08 AM ---This seems to be exactly the kind of testimony that Frye hearings are meant to exclude - prejudicial statements, cloaked in the trappings of science/credentials.  O'Mara has a good point, in that depending on who one belives is screaming is likely to bias a juror strongly one way or the other.

If the hearing results in the state tipping it's hand and giving the defense a sneak peak at their expert's testimony, that should be useful for O'Mara, regardless of the actual ruling.  If testimony of someone like Tom Owens ends up being allowed in the actual trial, but O'Mara is able to impeach him and make him look foolish, might that even better than having that testimony suppressed?

--- End quote ---

There won't be any surprise expert testimony.  The point of discovery is to avoid surprises at trial.  O'Mara has to know what the state's expert opinions are based on, otherwise he would have no grounds to object.

It's not uncommon for one side in a trial to proffer expert testimony based on "junk science," where the "junk" is either using an inapplicable (but reliable and respected) scientific or legal principle, or in misconstruction or misapplication of a sound principle to the evidence.  Any of those flaws is basis for excluding the expert.

My speculation is just that Nelson is so biased in favor of the state, that she is unable to hear, let alone comprehend a sound argument offered by the defense.  I suspect she is scientifically illiterate too, so any argument about the technical merits will fly right over her head.  Given that situation inside her head, she has no choice but to allow the state's expert - if she's wrong, the DCA will fix it.

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