Author Topic: Voice ID experts  (Read 11373 times)

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Offline lin

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Voice ID experts
« on: May 06, 2013, 07:51:21 AM »
Pleading posted at gzlegal:


MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY HEARING REGARDING ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT OPINION TESTIMONY


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

(Topic title updated by TalkLeft to include new expert reports relased.)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 03:03:58 PM by TalkLeft »

Offline lin

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 08:10:42 AM »
FromBelow posted this motion last night and it is being discussed here.


Offline cboldt

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Philly

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #3 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?

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.

Offline cboldt

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 10:17:31 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?

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.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 10:22:46 AM »
If somebody can look up previous Frye hearing held under Nelson, it would more helpful than speculation based mostly on personal anathema towards her.

Offline cboldt

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 04:57:30 PM »
This might be dated, and I'm sure it has been cited before, but might be of use here.  The article has a fairly lengthy list of precedents as to the admissibility of voice ID.

Voice Identification The Aural/Spectrographic Method - Thomas J. Owen

   In 1972 the third and fourth District Courts of Florida, in separate opinions, held admissible the use of spectrographic voice identification evidence. The court in Worley held that the voice identification evidence was admissible to corroborate the defendant's identification by other means. The court stated that the technique had attained the necessary level of scientific reliability required for admission, but since it was only offered as corroborative evidence, the court refused to comment as to whether such evidence alone would be sufficient to sustain the identification and conviction.

   The third District Court of Appeals of Florida did not limit the admission of spectrograph evidence to corroborative status. In the Alea opinion the court does not mention the Frye test as the standard to be used for admission, but rather states that "such testimony is admissible to establish the identity of a suspect as direct and positive proof, although its probative value is a question for the jury".


"Probative value is a question for the jury" means that the jury can reject the expert's opinion.  If the court allows a state expert, it will also allow the defense to submit expert rebuttal.  We should get a very good sense of how that will play, by observing the dueling experts at the May 28 hearing.

ALEA v STATE, 265 So.2d 96 (Fla. 1972)

As in Worley v. State, supra, there was other substantial evidence to identify the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime. He was one of the persons who attempted to implement the extortion threats by the collection of the money extorted. In addition, there was proof that his voice was identified as that of the person making the threats by two witnesses who testified without the aid of spectrographic voiceprint identification.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 05:31:15 PM »

Voice Identification The Aural/Spectrographic Method - Thomas J. Owen

Quote
The first step is to evaluate the recording of the unknown voice, checking to make sure the recording has a sufficient amount of speech with which to work and that the quality of the recording is of sufficient clarity in the frequency range required for analysis. The volume of the recorded voice signal must be significantly higher than that of the environmental noise. The greater the number of obscuring events, such as noise, music, and other speakers, the longer the sample of speech must be. Some examiners report that they reject as many as sixty percent of the cases submitted to them with one of the main reasons for rejection being the poor quality of the recording of the unknown voice.

I'm wondering if the defense can subpoena the FBI experts as fact witnesses on the quality of the recording of the unknown voice.

Offline AJ

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 06:20:57 PM »
I think the issue with Owens' testimony is that O'Mara might be bringing up is that his software uses a propriety algorithm to compare the exemplars. No one knows what, exactly, is being compared... except those who have worked on the source of the software. Based on this secret formula it has determined that Mr. Zimmerman's voice is only a 46% match.

Offline MJW

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 06:44:21 PM »
In Bundy v. State, 455 So. 2d 330 (Fla. 1984), the state supreme court lumped voice prints with polygraphs as "inadmissible techniques":

Quote
Bite mark comparison evidence differs from many other kinds of scientific evidence such as blood tests, "breathalyzer" tests, and radar (as well as from inadmissible techniques such as the polygraph and voice-print analyses) in that these various techniques involve total reliance on scientific interpretation to establish a question of fact.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 06:53:35 PM »
I think the issue with Owens' testimony

I haven't seen any indication that the prosecution intends to call Owen.

Offline cboldt

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 07:51:09 AM »
State's Expert's reports are up at GZLegal

State's 16th Supplemental discovery discloses the expert's names and attaches their reports

Report of State's Expert Harry Hollien and James Harnsberger is inconclusive, assigning some sounds to Zimmerman, others to Martin, none with much confidence.

Report of State's Expert Alan Reich reaches a tentative conclusion that the screamer is Martin.

Offline Cylinder

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 08:33:08 AM »
Alan Reich is selling snake oil. Where the eff does Zimmerman say "These shall be" and how is that a "religious proclomation." Bravo Sierra.

Offline Cylinder

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 08:38:05 AM »
"[R]eminicent of an evangelical preacher or carnival barker..."

This ain't science.

Offline AJ

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Re: Motion For Evidentiary Hearing - Voice ID experts
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 08:50:37 AM »
Alan Reich has been on the State's side since long before he got Mr. Martin's exemplars. In fact, his document is pretty much a copy/paste of what he wrote nearly 1 year ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trayvon-martin-case-911-call-two-experts-reach-two-much-different-conclusions/2012/05/19/gIQAtuapbU_story.html

 

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