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State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) => Court Matters => Topic started by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 07:21:50 AM

Title: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 07:21:50 AM

Live coverage on ClickOrlando (http://www.clickorlando.com/news/hearing-held-in-george-zimmerman-murder-case/-/1637132/20436614/-/72pit2z/-/index.html) starts at 9:30 EDT.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 07:37:52 AM
Defense expert reciting his CV. I missed his name.

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 07:39:20 AM
John Peter French
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 07:43:31 AM
This a good link. (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/os-live-chat-george-zimmerman-lawyers-in-court-20130606,0,4807163.story)  Rene and Jeff give good updated continually information.  They surmise that the connection to York, UK is via Skype.  Quality is better than yesterdays.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 07:46:25 AM
ClickOrlando report (http://www.clickorlando.com/news/hearing-in-george-zimmerman-murder-case-continues/-/1637132/20463644/-/bgbvrtz/-/index.html) from last night says Defendant's Motion to Prohibit Spectators From Wearing Items That Depict Support (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0613/motion_to_prohibit.pdf) will be on the docket today.

It also says the courthouse is normally closed on Saturday. Nelson has called in sheriff's deputies and assorted court personnel. No word from county officials on how much it will cost the taxpayers.

I wonder if it would've been cheaper (and easier) for her to simply grant the motion giving the defense an extra period of time. I think they wanted six weeks; even 4 weeks would've solved this mad rush.

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: turbo6 on June 08, 2013, 07:48:07 AM
What a well versed and distinguished chap.  :D
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 07:49:25 AM
What a well versed and distinguished chap.  :D

Everything sounds better in Brit, doesn't it?

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 07:56:08 AM
"I have never come across a case in my 30 years at this where somebody has tried to compare screaming with speech".
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 07:56:16 AM
In 30 years (?) he's never seen people try to compare screaming and speech. Ricky's new favorite expert.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 07:59:19 AM
First expert is Dr. French.  He is located in his laboratory in York, the UK.  A bit of technology tweaking in the courtroom for volume of speaker phone.  The audio connection is working, not sure if the video is.  West asks the court to swear in the witness.  Witness is sworn.  West asks the witness to introduce himself.

Dr. French's CV has been filed with the court and a copy has been provided to Mantei.  West asks if this is current, and for the witness to describe length of experience.  Forensic work since the 1980's, also teaches at university.  What is your formal education and training in human speech?  Post grad in human linguistics .... see CV, pretty impressive.  Doesn't mean he isn't a BS artist (see global warming), but he doesn't get these positions without having substantive experience.  Has testified in court more than 200 times.  Has handled over 5,000 cases.  Many venues, internationally.  Lab handles 100-200 cases per year.  Claims to be even handed in analysis, about 70-80% is for prosecution.  The courts he has testified in are New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Netherlands.  Any cases in the US?  Only two that he recalls.  One is a civil case, not yet in trial, the other is an internal investigation internal to a private organization.  Has given training to FBI.  Supervises doctoral candidates involved in forensic speech analysis.  Dr. French is published, and has undertaken research that has been published.  Dr. French asked to estimate how many times he has been published, he says "going on towards 30."  West asks about the personnel at the lab, seven people including Dr. French.  One of the seven is the manager, the rest are scientific staff.  West asks about editorial responsibilities "Speech, Language and the Law," and on the board of a Spanish journal of speech sciences, and also involved in bringing linguistics to the general public.  West asks about making presentations - Dr. French describes this as part of his professional development.  West asks about keeping up to date with new methodologies.

Now get into meat - are you familiar with the standards and guidelines in this field?  Yes.  They are varied by jurisdiction.  West doesn't probe into details.  West focuses on voice comparison analysis.  French describes the process, first the administrative - cataloging, method of delivery, form of evidence.  Next step is to re-record contents to a computer server, stored as standard audio data files.  next step is to decide if the material is suitable for the purpose for which it has been submitted.  West asks if there are guidelines for this threshold inquiry.  Yes.  background noise, contamination, bandwidth of signal, duration, adequate representation of speech sounds, just how distinctive or unusual are the speech patterns of the person.  What they can't do, and won't do, is specify an absolute minimum of sound quality either as S/N or number of words, or seconds of recording.  Reason is that a person having unusual speech patterns can be found with poor quality samples.  Sometimes elimination can be done with a very small amount of data.  Generally, downplays the per se importance of sound quality and sound duration.

Good expert.  Makes clear the varilables that can play in forming an opinion.  He's identified something here that none of the other experts have mentioned - and it is a point that cuts against per se rejection of the 911 call for reasons of short duration or "poor quality."

West goes on to evaluation of sounds that are shouts or contain shouts.  Dr. French says yes.  Completely different vocal settings when they shout, especially if genuinely shouting (not just talking loud).  About 10-15% of cases are rejected as unsuitable for evaluation.  Maybe 15% understates, because some cases are rejected based on a verbal description, e.g., a bank robber shouting demands; rejections happen before tapes are even submitted for analysis.  West reiterates that shouting or screaming are not suitable.  French has never run into a case where screaming was attempted to be compared with normal voice.  Are you aware of any studies in this vein?  Dr. French says he is not aware of any studies that address that issue.  It is pretty much axiomatic that you cannot compare screaming with speech.  West asks if it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to analyze screams? Yes.  West asks what about screams under duress, distress cries.  Dr. French has a student working on this, including death cries, fear of death.  Student compared this sort of utterance with normal speech of the same person.   West asks the result of the research.  Dr. French says the study wasn't aimed at that question, but the sound of stressed people is unpredictable, so it is not reliable to work back to what they would sound like, normally.

Very interesting technical information.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 08:12:08 AM
Even if the 911 screams went on for a couple of hours, it wouldn't be suitable for comparison. 
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 08:14:39 AM
This guy is good. He isn't just giving an opinion. He's laying out and making understandable the reasons that scream comparisons, even scream to scream, aren't feasible at present.

ETA: He talks about preliminary work in the area by one of his graduate students, and says it's 'uncharted territory'.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 08:17:58 AM
I'm kind of looking forward to cross. I'm curious how Mantei approaches him.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 08:18:45 AM
French describing auditory phonetic test.  How the individual consonant and vowel sounds are pronounced.  For example, the sound of "t" or "l".  They use the international phonetic alphabet for this purpose.  Would listen for speech rhythms, here major accents are formed, rate of speech, intonation (rise and fall of pitch, melody), timbre (creaky? harsh? nasal? breathy?), evidence of tension in the larynx (he demonstrates), tongue/body relationship.  Each of these variables is scoreable.  38 different variables are available.

2nd group of tests are acoustic / instrumental.  Usually using computers and software.  Average pitch, resonants (formats), where is main energy in the speech.

Also look for individual speaker patterns like lip smacking, hesitation markers (umm, uhh sounds), simplification of speech (aside, I think Crump would be easy to find in a sample, due to his pronunciation of certain words).  None of this is available in a sample of a scream.

French elaborates, departure from the norm is a key part of this analytical method.   He repeats that these idiosynchrocies aren't present in screaming.  West asks "how much screaming would it take for you to reach a conclusion"  Dr. French asks if can relate it to this case.  yes.  He says if he had half an hour of these screams, it would not be in the least helpful.  it would not allow JP French to move to a conclusion.

West moves on to possibility to create a sample for comparison.  Dr. French says that it is not possible to get a reasonable exemplar for a scream uttered in distress.  There is very little data, very few recordings of people in true distress, so can't be explored in any meaningful way.

West asks if the 911 call is suitable for analysis, and for Dr. French to express an opinion.  It is even remotely suitable for speaker comparison purposes.  It would have been rejected by JP French.  West asks, if you undertake the analysis anyway ...  Dr. French says there can't be any meaningful findings.  He's never heard of such a task being undertaken before.

Dr. French says they have a biometric system, not being used, but being evaluated.  His opinion is that the biometric analysis would not yield a meaningful result either.  West asks what the biometric system use process is.  Dr. French says biometric is designed to compare normal voice.  But, if you were to try this, you would first test the system.  Not first put in 911 tape.  If you had two people, you'd test both, and if it "no matched" both, then the system doesn't work.  Next you might try, with a number of subjects, to attempt to scream in distress, and see if the biometric system could match the talker with the screamer.  Dr. French says the conclusion is foregone - the system is not designed for this.  West asks if this was attempted, would the witness expect the results to be reliable.  No.

I'd hate to be in Mantei's shoes right now.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 08:19:16 AM
Manatei:  Experts can disagree with  you, Dr. French, can't they?  Please, please, say yes.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 08:21:13 AM
I'm kind of looking forward to cross. I'm curious how Mantei approaches him.

Cookie cutter says, he'll asks only about the methods, and not application of the method to the evidence in this case, and he'll ask if different experts can reasonably disagree given the same evidence.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 08:21:26 AM
looping and raising pitch aren't going to be accepted in the scientific community.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 08:28:13 AM
Critiquing Reich, explaining why the very idea of a voice print is a false analogy.

He's a perfect expert. He knows his stuff, and he can make it clear to layfolk.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 08:30:45 AM
No accepted methodology for determining age from voice. A 50-year-old can scream like a child.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 08:46:08 AM
Mantai tried to get French to say that the screams couldn't come from somebody who was being smothered.  No dice.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 08:54:10 AM
Hilarious that Mantei is still trying to paint Traytray as a child.

Especially in light of ABC releasing his voice samples yesterday.

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 08:56:55 AM
French is not entirely sure what aural spectrograph is.  If if is like the discredited voiceprint analysis, combined with listening, it is not reliable.  Never been used in the UK.  No speech scientist anywhere in the world would condone it.  West asks if there is any such thing as a voiceprint.  Dr. French says "no."  There is never an exact match between individual signatures, nor between individual words being said.  Each speech event is unique.  I think the reference is just to compare the time/level signals - literally measuring the sound wave/pressure over time.

Have you reviewed Dr. Reich's report?  Yes.  It bears similarity to acoustic listening method French already described, farther from the voiceprint analysis.  He finds a number of things in Reich's report disturbing - for example, finding certain words (stop) via resonant frequencies relative to the normal male.  Reich suggests that because the value (pitch) is 10% higher, that the vocal tract must be that of Martin, due to him not being full grown.  French says there is not a correlation between growth (overall maturity), and vocal tract maturity, and speakers age.  There is NO accepted data to support finding age.  West asks if a 28 year old could make that sound.  French says a 50 year old could.  Goes on to detail the physics, moth would be more open.  West asks if French has any experience in phonetics.  Yes, French's postgrad was in phonetics, and he has had ongoing training in this area, and is called on to train other people in phonetic analysis.

Back to Reich hearing the word "stop."  Part two, was this related to screams in particular, or something else?  French says yes, there are remarks about words head, "these shall be," etc.  Not a single one of those does Dr. French hear.  He hears breathing or other random sounds, but he can't accept that any of those sounds is speech.  West asks if there is a recognized phenomenon where listeners under high amplification.  Dr. Frazer in Australia has a body of work where people mistake for speech, non-speech sounds or patterns.  Is that phenomenon recognized in your work?  yes, we are aware of this and endeavor to eliminate.  How do you deal with this?  Dr. French says other than overall caution, there is no way.  He says in this recording, if you didn't know from outside information, you wouldn't know that the person was screaming in English, was a male or female.

BTW, Mantei objected to the line of questioning about predisposition or inclination to hear words or speech where none is being uttered, on the grounds that it aimed to obtain a psychiatric impression of the listener.  Objection overruled, and Dr. French said he would "be careful to not trespass on the grounds your opponent has identified."

West wants a few moments to make sure he's covered the bases.  Asks maybe for a recess.  Nelson says no recess until we are done with this witness.

Mantei up.

Your first testimony in a US court?  Yes.  You do not hear "you're going to die tonight motherfscker" or "you got me"?  No, I don't hear those things.  French isn't saying that there is nothing that might not be construed as that (with imagination), but he doesn't hear it.  Mantei goes on to describe the recording arrangement - 40 feet from outdoors to indoors, phone, recorded, competition with other voices on the tape.  How much effort or power would be required to generate the signal from the outside.  French says not enough info - depends on head, mouth placement of screamer; microphone on phone direction, how close the phone is to the speaker's face, quality of phone line.  Can't give a meaningful view of that.

How about whether or not a scream was smothered or muffled.  French could not tell either way.

Is voice recognition a generally valid undertaking?  Yes, we evaluate a great number of samples.  Mantei says you do not have a minimum amount of words or time.  Yes, true.  Mantei asks if French listened to the sounds without assistance, and also with SoundForge and other analytical tools.  French says yes, he did.  SoundForge is described as a blunt tool.  Mantei says you measured the pitch? Found it to be 300-900 Hz?  French says he may have recalculated these values with assistance from his PhD student and the technique she uses.  Average pitch 526 Hz, Max 843 Hz, minimum 342 Hz.  Mantei asks why did you do that?  French explains, his first cut was use of default program, and the PhD student has techniques that ameliorate errors that the speech software tends to make in spectral analysis.  French makes a great point that the difference would not change his conclusion.  Just because you change something to improve your result isn't something that should concern scientists, should it?

Mantei fairly correctly summarizes French, that none of the processes will deliver reliable results; French adds that biometric analysis is completely inappropriate.  Mantei tries to say that none of the methods are bad; but the issue is the sample.  French says that the methodology of Owen would not be accepted by the scientific community (biometric).

Mantei goes on to the vocal tract development.  French says that this comparison is invalid for screaming.  Mantei asks if adolescents and men have deeper voices as they age.  Mantei is done.

Redirect by West.

Would French describe the process of voice change in men.  Typically in early teen years, he is not an expert on this, but typically between 12-16, maybe a little older.  Lowering of larynx, enlargement of sinus cavities, enlargement of larynx.  Is this time of change associated with other physiological changes?  Yes, with puberty.  West says what about facial hair, pubic hair - French says this strays outside of his area of expertise, and a juror or judge could answer those questions as well as French could.  West asks if French has any data / conclusion as to whether or not Martin had undergone puberty.  Based on the video of martin, French thinks Martin is in or past puberty.  Witness is over.

15 minute recess.

Mantei's cross exam was lame.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 09:01:59 AM
Your first testimony in a US court?  Yes.

I didn't hear the end of that question. I thought Mantei had asked if it was French's first testimony in a Florida court, because I thought at the beginning French said he had testified twice in the U.S. Maybe he was talking about some other kind of professional work?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 09:02:37 AM
Cbolt, are you a trained court reporter?  I certainly can't do what you can do.  Very impressive!  By the way, I am surprised that Mantei didn't ask French how much he was being paid. 
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Philly on June 08, 2013, 09:11:23 AM
French acknowledged under cross that he couldn't make out the words "You're going to die tonight" or "Shut up!" - phrases that Zimmerman has asserted that Trayvon said during the struggle.

I was surprised West didn't revisit this when he reengaged the expert.

The expert had noted that the direction one is facing could make a big difference when answering the "how much power would it take for the screams to be audible" questions.  I'd also be curious to learn more about how phone compression algorithms might end up selectively filtering sounds, and whether this could explain why a scream would be more audible than normal speech/threats.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 09:14:14 AM
French acknowledged under cross that he couldn't make out the words "You're going to die tonight" or "Shut up!" - phrases that Zimmerman has asserted that Trayvon said during the struggle.

I was surprised West didn't revisit this when he reengaged the expert.

It's a red herring.

Its purpose may have been to distract West into wasting time on it.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 09:18:59 AM
I think it is sort of obvious that the amplitude is a very major factor, besides the ones French mentioned, in what a phone is the house might pick up.  Screams have a much higher energy than the other things said that night.  I wonder if the prosecution has people in the wings who also hear what Reich claimed to hear.  The only thing I am really getting out of all this is that the prosecution's case is really as bad as we all thought.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 09:19:17 AM
Cbolt, are you a trained court reporter?  I certainly can't do what you can do.  Very impressive!  By the way, I am surprised that Mantei didn't ask French how much he was being paid.

No, just taking notes on the fly.  I type while I listen, almost always paraphrasing (hopefully, accurately enough).  Many years in technical work, trying to elicit information that is useful and factual, and then having to report or transmit that in many directions.

Thank you for the kind compliment.  I do this for fun, so when I get bored with the case, I disappear ;-)
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 09:21:53 AM

G. R. Doddington.

Jeralyn has posted (http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2423.msg110500.html#msg110500) short profiles of the three defense experts.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 09:37:42 AM
Doddington.  Electrical engineer, Texas Instruments, has done work with NIST and others.  Undergrad at U Florida, PhD from U Wisc, Bell Labs for PhD, dissertation was on speaker recognition.  The title was "Practical method of speaker verification" or similar.  Work with TI was speech and speaker recognition, much under contract with Air Force.  The witness doesn't know why the AF and TI had an interest in speech and speaker recognition.  TI is a bunch of cowboys down there, and the management had reasons only they knew (witness named TI president, I forgot the name).

From a security standpoint, speaker trying to gain access to a resource, and then NSA, trying to track a person who does not want to be found.  So, diametrically opposed parameters.  Doddington's work was to the "gaining access" parameter, where the software aimed to match the speaker, with high reliability.  Entry control to enable a door to open, for example.  An operational system of this nature was installed at a TI computer center.

Doddington is obsessed (his word) with calibrating the performance of technology.  He got into "what is the performance of speech recognizers," which was a cover article in a 1981 IEEE "Spectrum" article.  This was the first generation of speech recognizers that was being fielded.  The performance being claimed was favorable to the system, but by very large factors, and this bothered the witness, because they provided far poorer performance.  In a nutshell, he says, speech is not like fingerprints, or iris scans, or DNA, which are physical artifacts.  Speech is a performance, like a dance.  It is an energy signal.  Speech is a learned performance, and individuals have idiosynchrocies, but any individual is variable in his own "performances" of speech.  Doddington was in charge of TI's speech scientist before he left - he ran the speech research lab, small but very good.

Went to SRI international in Menlo Park, CA.  Stanford Research Institute (no longer with Stanford).  Joined as senior scientist, was borrowed by federal government to work with DARPA.  The focus of that work was program manager to all of human language technology.

I'm away for awhile .... this is the defense pretty much just piling on.  State's experts aren't ;-)

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 09:40:48 AM
O'Mara on Doddington's direct. He and West have divided up the experts, instead of one of them specializing in that area.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 09:45:42 AM
Oh No. Omara is confused and is confusing his expert. Bring back West. Owen talked about Gaussian mixture models a, a very different issue.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 09:53:42 AM
I think Doddington is there to talk about standards for speaker detection and how Owen and Reich don't come close to the accepted standards.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 09:58:15 AM
Wikipedia says NIST (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institute_of_Standards_and_Technology) is 'a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce'.

Quote
NIST had an operating budget for fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006-September 30, 2007) of about $843.3 million. NIST's 2009 budget was $992 million, but it also received $610 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.[2] NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel. About 1,800 NIST associates (guest researchers and engineers from American companies and foreign nations) complement the staff. In addition, NIST partners with 1,400 manufacturing specialists and staff at nearly 350 affiliated centers around the country.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 10:48:01 AM
Doddington thinks that it would be almost impossible to come up with a methodology to test how well a system could compare extreme screams with speech or “simulated screams”.  Ethically getting the data would be a problem.  Thus I think this means Owen is out via Frye.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Mojo56 on June 08, 2013, 10:51:09 AM
I just wanted to add to the list of TY's to cbolt. Awesome job. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

MOM just asked Doddington if he heard the testimony yesterday. "Yes, unfortunately". LOL. 
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 11:03:46 AM
The recording(s) Reich analyzed was really 8 bits, not 16 like Reich thought was necessary. 
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 11:04:34 AM
Doddington says that a scream being identified is ridiculous.  Speech is a performance.  He says he is just an electrical engineer, but he does not know how the voice system changes, going from normal speech to a scream.

O'Mara asks Doddington to define the community of speech experts.  He notes a couple people in Australia who would probably disagree with French, as the Aussies are more in the "hard science" mold.  Then he moves to the community that Doddington is in - he says hard science, probability and statistics, trying to quantify reliability.  O'Mara asks how these two communities differ.  Doddington said the difference is between the forensic people making decisions, the scientific community is evaluating the reliability of those decisions.  Doddington expresses frustration that the forensic people are not self-critical enough.  Doddington mentions NIST's standard in the area of Human-aided Speech Recognition (HASR), and the fact that there are millions of trials (speech comparisons); and HASR calls for 15 standard trials or experiments that software can be tested against.  The speech examples were 2 1/2 minutes of speech for each.  This was considered a difficult test, because the samples were from phone or other media.  Doddington says maybe making the speech samples shorter should have been done too, as another way to make the NIST/HASR evaluation useful to distinguish between the speaker analysis softwares.

O'Mara asks about identification of screams.  Fool's mission.

It would be a challenge to create the data to test the evaluators.  "How do you get the scream data?  You have to put people under an unethical amount of stress."

He describes the Lombard effect.  People speak louder in a noisy environment.  This was simulated with headphones, so a speaker would automatically, without knowing it speak louder.  The reverse was done too, getting people to speak softly.  He doesn't have the numbers with him, but speaking louder/softer had a significant effect on the performance of the voice recognitions systems.

Increase the distance (of speaker) from the microphone, the error rate goes up.

Asked if he heard Owen's testimony about looping.  "Yes, unfortunately I was"  "Doing that is ridiculous"  You aren't adding thing, there is no basis to say that repetition will improve the performance.  It's a violation of common sense.  Statistical dependence, which the expert now has to define.

Asked about pitch change.  Witness says he was surprised by the mildness of French's rebuke.  If you raise the pitch, you change the form of the frequencies, there is absence of basis to compare the format frequencies.  On a pitch manipulation like that, the witness would not expect a match.  O'Mara adds, which is exactly what Owen's conclusion was, no match.

Asked if he heard a recording of the NEN call.  Yes.  Says programs that display waveform and spectrograms are all the same (which is basically true, the math is simple).

He addresses "cleaning up" of signal to isolate the speech.  He says it is frustrating exercise, unless there is some discrete noise like a 60 Hz hum or a whistle, any constant tone, that can be suppressed and improve things, but even in it is not possible to improve the intelligibility of speech.  The human ear is magical in being able to process speech, although sometimes it hears things that aren't there.  Nothing Reich did would improve the intelligibility, and probably made it worse.  And that is the understanding of the scientific community.  Could you hear what Reich heard?  Laughter.

Asked about listener bias (hearing what you are preconditioned to hear), "Apparently for Dr. Reich, this was very effective."  "Just the imaginary stuff, right?"  O'Mara says we'll leave it to the court to decide that.  The expert laughs and says "this is absurd."  O'Mara takes this as a "no."  The witness says that Reich's attached importance of 16 bit data is weird - so the witness looked at the data, and it is 8 bit data.  The top 8 bits in the recordings is all zeros.  Linear PCM data.  16 bit format, 8 bit data.  LOL.  Now, I understand exactly what he means.  O'Mara doesn't get it.  Gets to a question, does this degrade the reliability of the underlying analysis?  Yes, but not the reason Reich's opinion sucks.  IOW, 8 bit sound data can be plenty good enough.

I like this witness, but I'm a pretty dry fellow, myself.  He's being very patient with O'Mara, and it is not easy for him to be patient.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 11:10:17 AM

I like this witness, but I'm a pretty dry fellow, myself.  He's being very patient with O'Mara, and it is not easy for him to be patient.

Should be fun to see what happens with Mantei.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 11:13:23 AM
Nelson sustains a state objection to O'Mara question about genesis and history of some sound analysis software.  The objection was to relevance.  O'Mara rejiggers his line of questioning in response.

Is Doddington restricted in what he can say about his work at the NSA?  Doddington has Top Secret clearance.  There are compartments within that.  Doddington advised NSA in the area of speaker recognition.  O'Mara is done with direct exam.

Nelson wants to put the feed bag on now.  Mantei thinks about an hour of cross exam and redirect.  The witness is told that he may not discuss his testimony with anybody, that includes the lawyers, he is still under oath.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 11:20:22 AM
Should be fun to see what happens with Mantei.

Yes.  Doddington was impatient with O'Mara, and he's apt to be less so as the absurdity of the questions is increased.

I do think it is funny that Reich's 16 bit assumption was false.  Reich says a 16 bit resolution was critical to the success of his investigation (a point that Doddington would disagree with), and Reich was working with 8 bit data.  Riech's report does a good job of describing the difference, as the range of possible loudnesses in any given "chunk" of the thousands of pieces of sound data in any second.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 11:36:09 AM
Yes.  Doddington was impatient with O'Mara, and he's apt to be less so as the absurdity of the questions is increased.

I know many smart government scientist like Doddington. They are not used to being asked questions by technically uniformed people. Professors have to deal with such questions all the time.  French's teaching and courtroom experience certainly helped his testimony.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 11:55:57 AM
Even after a couple of minutes, it is clear that Mantei is much more tech savvy than O'Mara.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 12:16:58 PM
13:48 - Court is back in session.  I was ruminating to myself, about the confluence of junk science and junk law.  I can imagine that Doddington has very low regard for the legal system, at least this case, as the scream evidence is being entertained as amenable to expert opinion for screamer ID.

Mantei asks about hourly rate - Doddington says today is $2,000.  He charges $100/hour than Dr. French.  This is the first time you have testified as an expert?  No, once before, 30 years ago, in Minnesota.

Off the top of his head, Doddington remembers the name of the sound tool he used, "Audacity."

Mantei says, you don't do forensic analysis.  Doddington agrees.  Doddington says his function is to evaluate the performance of the various tools that the forensic voice analysts use.  Jeff Morrison in Australia is more interested in probability models than Dr. French.  So, says Mantei, it is not unusual for scientists to have disagreement.  Doddington says disagreement is good, that's where we get progress.  His role is to evaluate the disparate claims and decide which one is right.

Doddington's first reaction to the 911 sample was similar to French.  Data of this sort is not going to provide a viable source to make a decision of any kind.  Mantei says that Doddington got the result he expected, which is that the source sound file is insufficient to reach a conclusion.  Doddington reads Reich's report, and that stoked Doddington's curiosity, so he listened to the 911 recording.  He thinks Reich's conclusions are absurd.

Doddington says that the forensic guys don't like to submit to NIST microscope, because they don't want to be exposed (as unreliable).

Mantei painting Doddington as inexperienced because he doesn't do forensic evaluations, and he hasn't done a forensic evaluation in this case either.  Doddington says his listening confirmed his impression going in.  Mantei says something about the conversation with O'Mara as to listener bias.

Mantei asks what is the best system you have come across?  Doddington says there is a slow evolution of algorithmic approaches ... GMM / Gaussian Mixture Modeling, the rage today is I-Vectors, but all of the systems are similar, pretty damned good.  Both GMM and I-Vector are probability models.  Mantei asks if any of the analytical tools will be 100% accurate.  No.

Mantei moves on to standards.  Doddington tries to stay away from them.  NIST gives the people the data it will work with.  NIST is not in the business of setting standards for speech examination.  Mantei gets Doddington to agree that minimum words or minimum time is not an ultimate gauge of suitability of the sample.

All Mantei has is sophistry.  Nelson will lap that up.

O'Mara should ask the extension of Mantei's closing question.  What result would you expect a forensic examiner to get, what probability of success, using the 911 call sample?  That is not the same as asking what the result will be, it is asking about the reliability of reaching a conclusion.

O'Mara's current focus on the function of NIST has no benefit in the goal of disqualifying Owen or Reich.  I can't figure out what his point is, you can just about guarantee that Nelson is lost.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 12:21:22 PM
NIST is about determining whether or not a methodology is actually reliable, not fixing the methodology.  O'Mara is not doing a good job showing that Owen's and Reich's methods have never been evaluated by NIST.  Also they are so off the wall that they wouldn't be considered as a subject for evaluation.  I think behind this confusing stuff is what exactly the Frye test is.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 12:27:34 PM
Finally, O'Mara gets to the issue of why Doddington first wouldn't listen to the sample.

There is no data to support a conclusion that the evaluation method of Owen or Reich is reliable.  If Doddington had been called to evaluation this, he would red-flag his conclusion as unreliable.

Even if you have an hour of screaming, the science concludes that any evaluation is impossible under current knowledge.  There are no worthy judgments or decisions that can be made on this data.  This is the worst data set imaginable.  Dr. French wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.  The witness is excused.

Doddington is excused.  O'Mara is setting up the next witness, who is remote.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 12:31:29 PM
O'Mara says that it'll be 15-20 minutes before the witness is available.

West asks the court to relax the monitoring rule for times that Zimmerman is in court.  They ask that Zimmerman not be required to call in in the 10-12 am time to his monitoring.  Nelson offers 8-9 am, 6-7 pm as alternatives, as frequently as Zimmerman has to call in.  Court is in recess until O'Mara's witness is ready.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Redbrow on June 08, 2013, 12:42:43 PM
Even after a couple of minutes, it is clear that Mantei is much more tech savvy than O'Mara.

Probably why the prosecution assigned him with their endless resources and bottomless pile of taxpayer money.

The defense can't afford tens of thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer who specializes in technology so they do the best they can.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 12:52:04 PM
Witness is stuck on a plane.  Court is in recess until Monday morning.  The Frye hearing is continued to an indefinite time.  That concludes today's action.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 12:54:29 PM
Doddington criticizes Nakasone and French for not opening themselves up to enough evaluation even though Nakasone would never go to court under even iideal circumstances, and French says that he would immediately reject the 911 recording in this case. This illustrates just how far out of the scientific consensus are Reich and Owen. I hope Nelson understands this and not just that Doddington is critical of Nakasone and French.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 12:58:51 PM
Witness is stuck on a plane.  Court is in recess until Monday morning.  The Frye hearing is continued to an indefinite time.  That concludes today's action.

How does that work? Doesn't the Frye hearing have to be completed before trial, or is it just before they decide to bring in that testimony?

Seems to me Nelson's leaving an awful lot of things half done to be finished ...later.

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 01:01:22 PM
If the defense was really top of the line, they would have flow charted the various methodologies used by Owen and Reich, as they explained in their reports.  They would have shown the flow charts to O and R during their testimony to get their agreement that that is what they have done or how to modify them.  Then they would show the flow charts to their own experts to get their comments on whether or not they are standard methodologies.  That way the judge should know exactly what the decision should be on Frye.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 01:04:27 PM
Doddington criticizes Nakasone and French for not opening themselves up to enough evaluation even though Nakasone would never go to court under even iideal circumstances, and French says that he would immediately reject the 911 recording in this case. This illustrates just how far out of the scientific consensus are Reich and Owen. I hope Nelson understands this and not just that Doddington is critical of Nakasone and French.

That's O'Mara's job, to pull out the reason or basis for Doddington's criticism, and to put it in context of Owen and Reich.  I think he can salvage that in argument, after the witnesses have testified, but it much cleaner to have the witness make the point directly.

I don't think making the point matters in this case.  Nelson made up her mind before hearing the evidence.  The legal argument is based on the Frye test, which itself can be misapplied (much as Reich misapplied audio linguistics, and Owen misapplied sound waveform manipulation and science in ruling out Zimmerman as source).  It would be one thing if the experts used the same tools and came to opposite conclusions.  Here, the correct experts (not Owen and Reich) are simply saying the data can't be analyzed.  That factor has no play in the Frye test.  It's irrelevant, or can be made to be irrelevant by a judge who disrespects the function of the law as gatekeeper, and is willing to apply a hypertechnical legal methodology.  She's going to turn the Frye test upside down in order to find for the state.

In the principled version of the law, the version that is as real as unicorns, the court's function is to prevent junk science from being used to influence the jury.  But, when junk science meets junk court, the result is a crapshoot.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Redbrow on June 08, 2013, 01:04:54 PM
How does that work? Doesn't the Frye hearing have to be completed before trial, or is it just before they decide to bring in that testimony?

Seems to me Nelson's leaving an awful lot of things half done to be finished ...later.

Seems as if her mind is already made up and the remaining witness is just a formality for show.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 01:07:42 PM
How does that work? Doesn't the Frye hearing have to be completed before trial, or is it just before they decide to bring in that testimony?

Seems to me Nelson's leaving an awful lot of things half done to be finished ...later.

The expert exclusion can happen any time up until the state decides to call an expert to the stand.  I didn't expect a ruling at the conclusion of witness testimony.  The lawyers will argue to the court, maybe the court will require arguments be reduced to writing to facilitate her ruling.

She's swept a few thing to post-trial, so those don't muck up the trial proceeding at all (other than Bernardo should be kicked off the trial - but I think the defense will do better with Bernardo arguing than with Guy).
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 01:10:32 PM
What has the judge done during the Frye Hearing that tips off how she will rule?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Redbrow on June 08, 2013, 01:11:27 PM
Nelson has all the time in the world for the prosecution's nonsense as evidenced by her threat to bring the hearing to a grinding halt and conduct a Richardson hearing (regarding West/O'Mara emails) yesterday. But she is rushing or postponing anything that might possibly benefit the defense even at the expense of Zimmerman's right to due process.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 01:12:08 PM
If the defense was really top of the line, they would have flow charted the various methodologies used by Owen and Reich, as they explained in their reports.  They would have shown the flow charts to O and R during their testimony to get their agreement that that is what they have done or how to modify them.  Then they would show the flow charts to their own experts to get their comments on whether or not they are standard methodologies.  That way the judge should know exactly what the decision should be on Frye.

Isn't there a fine line regarding what one expert can say about the work of another expert? I believe it's relaxed some for the purpose of the Frye hearing, but I also saw Nelson get a little testy on the issue, so I don't know as that would've been the best way to go.

Besides, the judge already knows what the decision should be.

She also knows what the decision's gonna be. We all know it.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 01:13:23 PM
Seems as if her mind is already made up and the remaining witness is just a formality for show.

I don't think she's telegraphed a ruling as to experts, other than her past decisions on unrelated matters favor the state (mostly) and she appears to have a hostile attitude against the defense.  She's let both side run fairly free with the questioning, she hasn't interrupted, she's been even handed as to objections, she didn't allow the state to see O'Mara/West correspondence with the experts.

I think a ruling for the state is a foregone conclusion, but I don't see evidence for that popping up during the Frye hearing, so far.  She might signal something during argument, following the testimony by the witnesses.  She usually does telegraph which side she favors, sometime during argument.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 01:13:58 PM
What has the judge done during the Frye Hearing that tips off how she will rule?

The same thing she did during all the previous motion hearings that went totally for the prosecution.

I believe she'll punt the issue of credibility to the jury.

ETA: And really, other than wanting to see the State lose something, and thinking their "experts" are a couple of the biggest morons around (despite Jeralyn saying Owen was a really good witness), I don't have a problem with the jury making the determination.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 01:20:25 PM
Isn't there a fine line regarding what one expert can say about the work of another expert? I believe it's relaxed some for the purpose of the Frye hearing, but I also saw Nelson get a little testy on the issue, so I don't know as that would've been the best way to go.

Not really.  I've had opposing experts say, directly, "cboldt is using junk science."  They have to back that up with what they claim is real science, so at rock bottom, there is some basis for yet another third party to come in and settle the dispute (or for me to show that my science isn't in fact junk).

Defense experts have uniformly ridiculed both Owen and Reich, and have explained how they reach their opinions that the conclusions of Owen and Reich are based on junk science.  A hundred years ago, Owen and Reich would be the guys who swore on a stack of Bibles that the moon was probably (but not for certain) made of green cheese.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Evil Chinchilla on June 08, 2013, 01:41:16 PM
If Nelson's true to form, she's going to let Owen and Reich squeak by under her interpretation of Frye.

But can she turn around and exclude the defense experts from challenging Owen's and Reich's credibility during the trial?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 01:45:24 PM
The Frye test is, at bottom, a filter that aims to keep unreliable conclusions from being presented in court.  Before this time, the test for an expert was whether or not scientific methods would assist the trier of fact to ascertain the truth, from the (raw) evidence.

When the question involved does not lie within the range of common experience or common knowledge, but requires special experience or special knowledge, then the opinions of witnesses skilled in that particular science, art, or trade to which the question relates are admissible in evidence.


So, to that point, I think it was Doddington who said that human recognition of voices, lay-people, are pretty darned reliable.  More so than software, at any rate.  That would augur against a need for experts AT ALL.  However, the screams are amenable to speculation, and MAYBE science has an answer.  That is the threshhold questions.  Not what tools does science have, but do the tools answer the question.

Just when a scientific principle or discovery crosses the line between the experimental and demonstrable stages is difficult to define. Somewhere in this twilight zone the evidential force of the principle must be recognized, and while courts will go a long way in admitting expert testimony deduced from a well-recognized scientific principle or discovery, the thing from which the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.

We think the systolic blood pressure deception test has not yet gained such standing and scientific recognition among physiological and psychological authorities as would justify the courts in admitting expert testimony deduced from the discovery, development, and experiments thus far made.


Frye vs. US, 54 App. D. C. 46, 293 F. 1013 (http://www.daubertontheweb.com/frye_opinion.htm) (DC Cir. 1923)

I think there is enough slack in this writing to take the Frye test either way.  It can be read as only testing the instrument / conclusion pair; or it can be read to also capture the raw evidence fed to the instrument.  If one considers WHY the test exists, as a legal principle, the decision clearly favors the defense.  One has to throw the principle of law out (the principle that the court disfavors speculative and potentially misleading testimony), in order to read Frye as admitting Owen and Reich.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 01:47:48 PM
Not really.  I've had opposing experts say, directly, "cboldt is using junk science."  They have to back that up with what they claim is real science, so at rock bottom, there is some basis for yet another third party to come in and settle the dispute (or for me to show that my science isn't in fact junk).

Defense experts have uniformly ridiculed both Owen and Reich, and have explained how they reach their opinions that the conclusions of Owen and Reich are based on junk science.  A hundred years ago, Owen and Reich would be the guys who swore on a stack of Bibles that the moon was probably (but not for certain) made of green cheese.

Are you sure? I'm pretty sure I remember Nelson telling MOM that his witness wasn't to make a comment on the validity of another expert's testimony. He responded that he knew he couldn't do that for the trial but he certainly could for the purpose of the Frye hearing. She responded by shifting her cud and spitting into her cuspidor while glaring at MOM. Which he ignored.


Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 01:48:01 PM
If Nelson's true to form, she's going to let Owen and Reich squeak by under her interpretation of Frye.

But can she turn around and exclude the defense experts from challenging Owen's and Reich's credibility during the trial?

There has been no defense motion to disqualify French, or Doddington, and using the Frye test that they propose, I don't see how those experts could be excluded.  If the state gets to use Owen and Reich, then the jury will see what amounts to a condensed replay of the Frye hearing.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 02:29:28 PM
My very limited legal knowledge had me thinking that the key question revolved around interpretation of Ramirez III. Isn't that why French was carefully trying to differentiate between methodology and technology. I thought the defense is trying to say that while the technology is in broad use, the methodology was new and novel. That is why they went after Owen with the looping and changing pitch. Those methodologies are new and novel and far outside scientific consensus.
Any insight from the legally knowledgeable is appreciated.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 02:59:58 PM
Are you sure? I'm pretty sure I remember Nelson telling MOM that his witness wasn't to make a comment on the validity of another expert's testimony. He responded that he knew he couldn't do that for the trial but he certainly could for the purpose of the Frye hearing. She responded by shifting her cud and spitting into her cuspidor while glaring at MOM. Which he ignored.

IIRC, that was during Doddington's testimony, and Doddington admitted that he wasn't making a forensic analysis.  At any rate, all three defense experts were directly critical of Owen and Reich, using various technical bases for their criticism.  Doddington's was based on non-repeatability of results using screams as a source.  None of the defense experts, all of which are qualified by education and experience in voice recognition, knew of any scientific support for screamer identification, using speaker identification methods.

There is nothing wrong, at all, with using one expert to poke holes in opposing expert's rationale and conclusions.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 03:12:47 PM
My very limited legal knowledge had me thinking that the key question revolved around interpretation of Ramirez III. Isn't that why French was carefully trying to differentiate between methodology and technology. I thought the defense is trying to say that while the technology is in broad use, the methodology was new and novel. That is why they went after Owen with the looping and changing pitch. Those methodologies are new and novel and far outside scientific consensus.
Any insight from the legally knowledgeable is appreciated.

Ramirez resembles Daubert.

the burden is on the proponent of the evidence to prove the general acceptance of both the underlying scientific principles and the testing procedures used to apply that principle to the facts of the case at hand.


IOW, Ramirez requires the gatekeeper to factor in the application of principles to the facts of the case, in this case the facts of the case being the screams.

The prosecution will point out that the relevant authority is a different Florida case.

Retreating from Ramirez, the Castillo court held that Frye only required the trial court to examine the general acceptance of the underlying science and experiments from which the expert witness obtained the data used to draw his conclusions, not the reasoning or conclusions themselves. Finding that the science underlying each method was generally accepted, the court concluded that the opinions of the plaintiff's expert witness were admissible. The Castillo court explained that even if the methods used to interpret the data from the underlying valid science are not generally accepted, any questions about how the expert reached his conclusion go to the weight a jury should give to the expert witness' opinion and not to whether the opinion is admissible.


Both blockquotes above from Challenging Expert Witness Testimony in Florida Products Liability Cases Under Frye (http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/JNJournal01.nsf/c0d731e03de9828d852574580042ae7a/a8ffda60a4ae1b8f8525729100702a7d!OpenDocument&Highlight=0,*) Rebecca Cavendish and Nicole Atkinson, March, 2007

It'll bottom out on the meaning of "valid science" or "general acceptance of the underlying science and experiments."  Notice, that under Castillo, if the methods are not generally accepted, the testimony may (might) be allowed.  IMO, in order to make sense of these judicial pronouncements, one has to get into the weeds of the testimony involved.  Nelson isn't going to do that.  She'll pick the phrase from Castillo that suits the outcome she prefers, and use that to justify the ruling.  It's possible to play word games with these cases until the cows come home.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 03:53:32 PM
Thanks. That's very helpful.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 04:05:00 PM
Setting aside the meat of deciding if Owen and Reich should be allowed to testify, and it's appropriate to set it aside becuase a judge can mumbo-jumbo this either way, I think the real reason Nelson allows the experts is that if she doesn't, the state will take an interlocutory appeal and delay the trial.  Once jury selection starts, this bias on the part of the judge will be more pronounced.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 08, 2013, 04:52:34 PM
IIRC, that was during Doddington's testimony, and Doddington admitted that he wasn't making a forensic analysis.  At any rate, all three defense experts were directly critical of Owen and Reich, using various technical bases for their criticism.  Doddington's was based on non-repeatability of results using screams as a source.  None of the defense experts, all of which are qualified by education and experience in voice recognition, knew of any scientific support for screamer identification, using speaker identification methods.

There is nothing wrong, at all, with using one expert to poke holes in opposing expert's rationale and conclusions.

I didn't think there was--but when she got going on it I just assumed I was wrong.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 08, 2013, 05:00:20 PM
I didn't think there was--but when she got going on it I just assumed I was wrong.

Once the hearing videos are available, if you point me to the video and an approximate time in it, I'll watch and listen carefully, to see what sense I can make of it.  I know there were a few objections, but the volume of the stream was pretty low on my end, and I didn't hear much if any of the background / objection assertions.  I picked up Mantei's "that question was too long," and something about O'Mara essentially putting words in the expert's mouth, sort of like assuming the conclusion for the expert and seeking agreement.   The attorney shouldn't do that, but the expert is free to opine.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 08, 2013, 06:23:33 PM
Doddington criticizes Nakasone and French for not opening themselves up to enough evaluation even though Nakasone would never go to court under even iideal circumstances, and French says that he would immediately reject the 911 recording in this case. This illustrates just how far out of the scientific consensus are Reich and Owen. I hope Nelson understands this and not just that Doddington is critical of Nakasone and French.
Now I am quite confused about what Nakasone does.  Is his job to run comparisons of samples for police departments?  If he is certain of a match, does he tell the prosecutor in the case to go hire  ::) wen to retest and testify in court?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: unitron on June 08, 2013, 07:47:27 PM
Wikipedia says NIST (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institute_of_Standards_and_Technology) is 'a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce'.

They set standards.

They don't have the legal authority to force adherence to those standards, but if there's going to be a standard to which adherence is legally required by some regulatory agency and it's in an area for which NIST  has created a standard, it's a pretty good bet that the regulatory agency will choose the NIST-created standard as the one to which they will require adherence.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: unitron on June 08, 2013, 07:49:21 PM
Even after a couple of minutes, it is clear that Mantei is much more tech savvy than O'Mara.

Which means he likely knows he's got to take the prosecution "experts" and try to make a silk purse out of a sow's fecal matter.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 09:20:29 PM
Now I am quite confused about what Nakasone does.  Is his job to run comparisons of samples for police departments?  If he is certain of a match, does he tell the prosecutor in the case to go hire  ::) wen to retest and testify in court?
I think Nakasone's job is to help catch the bad guys for the FBI, but he doesn't help with their prosecution in court. To the feds, it seems that speaker id is only an investigatory tool.
Of course, if he were subpoenaed to a state court and he had a match...
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on June 08, 2013, 10:44:06 PM

I missed the latter part of the hearing, after the beginning of Doddington's testimony. I see in the thread that Nelson ruled on the curfew question, but nothing about two other defense motions I thought were pending:

Defendant's Motion in Limine Regarding the Use of Certain Inflammatory Terms, 6/5/13 (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0613/limine_use_of_terms.pdf)

Defendant's Motion to Prohibit Spectators From Wearing Items That Depict Support (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0613/motion_to_prohibit.pdf)

Were they mentioned?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 08, 2013, 11:27:59 PM
I think the defense should have shown Figures 3, 5, and 6  from this article (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=sanjay_patil).
Fig 3 shows how pitch dramatically changes under different types of speech. Fig 5 shows how most but not all of the spectral features change. Fig 6 show how the first formant changes, but the others not as much.
So when Owen adjusted the frequency of the exemplar to match the pitch of the screams, he completely screwed up all of the other spectral signatures that his biometric system measures and compares.
So it was preordained that the exemplar and screams would not match. That is much worse than a 50% random coin flip. For George it was heads you lose tails the state wins because of Owens idiotic methodology.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 03:47:02 AM
I think the defense should have shown Figures 3, 5, and 6  from this article (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=sanjay_patil).
Fig 3 shows how pitch dramatically changes under different types of speech. Fig 5 shows how most but not all of the spectral features change. Fig 6 show how the first formant changes, but the others not as much.
So when Owen adjusted the frequency of the exemplar to match the pitch of the screams, he completely screwed up all of the other spectral signatures that his biometric system measures and compares.
So it was preordained that the exemplar and screams would not match. That is much worse than a 50% random coin flip. For George it was heads you lose tails the state wins because of Owens idiotic methodology.

Very interesting article, thank you.  Did you notice the "recognition rate" table at Fig. 7?  20% recognition rate for angry speech, and I'll opine, with justification, that extreme fear produces even more pronounced departure from normal/neutral speech, than anger does.

Your point about the Owen's method is well and succinctly stated.  I think Doddington said the same thing.  The pitch increase guarantees a mismatch.  The state implied that pitch increase being applied to a known speaker somehow improves the reliability of the match/no-match; but it appears that the Owen method of voice-match rule-out will produce 100% no-match results given any single speaker.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 04:27:03 AM
Too late to add as an edit: The article is titled "Speech Under Stress, Analysis, Modeling and Recognition" by John H.L. Hansen and Sanjay A. Patil, Center for Robust Speech Systems, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson.  January 2007.

One of the purposes of the study was to improve understanding of stress detection, using voice as the only cue.  As I mentioned, good article, much of which is in the layman's grasp.

A google search using the terms speech under stress produces quite a bit of output.  Many interesting articles, etc.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 09, 2013, 06:41:11 AM

Your point about the Owen's method is well and succinctly stated.  I think Doddington said the same thing.  The pitch increase guarantees a mismatch.  The state implied that pitch increase being applied to a known speaker somehow improves the reliability of the match/no-match; but it appears that the Owen method of voice-match rule-out will produce 100% no-match results given any single speaker.
Agreed. Doddington said the same thing. Perhaps I am underestimating Nelson, but I fear it whizzed over her head. I think this stuff needs to be shown in a few informative graphs using simple clear language. If Owen gets through the evidentiary hearing, the defense needs to improve their ability to explain these issues to the jury. In fact they need an expert to explain these issues more clearly to OMara.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 09, 2013, 06:49:10 AM
I missed the latter part of the hearing, after the beginning of Doddington's testimony. I see in the thread that Nelson ruled on the curfew question, but nothing about two other defense motions I thought were pending:

Defendant's Motion in Limine Regarding the Use of Certain Inflammatory Terms, 6/5/13 (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0613/limine_use_of_terms.pdf)

Defendant's Motion to Prohibit Spectators From Wearing Items That Depict Support (http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0613/motion_to_prohibit.pdf)

Were they mentioned?

I don't believe so. I wandered away during the recess while they were setting up for the last defense expert, came back 10-15 minutes later and they were done for the day.

West and MOM tried to get her to address them during 'wait for the witnesses to be ready downtime' but she didn't want to be in the middle of one thing and have to do another thing.

Like she hasn't been doing that so far anyway.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 09, 2013, 06:53:06 AM
Agreed. Doddington said the same thing. Perhaps I am underestimating Nelson, but I fear it whizzed over her head. I think this stuff needs to be shown in a few informative graphs using simple clear language. If Owen gets through the evidentiary hearing, the defense needs to improve their ability to explain these issues to the jury. In fact they need an expert to explain these issues more clearly to OMara.

cboldt mentioned yesterday--maybe to you, I forget--that it's MOM's job to pull the answers out of the expert. So MOM appears (and maybe is) as a complete goof on the subject, and asks questions that might appear foolish to some, but are aimed at the LCD (in trial, that's the stupidest person on the jury, right now--it's Nelson, who might have gotten through law school but has demonstrated a lack of intellectual ability. Then again, how smart do judges need to be, since no one challenges them ever (as an opinionated aside)).

I wish MOM had been able to keep a better focus, but his witness at didn't really want to be kept focused.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 07:01:27 AM
Agreed. Doddington said the same thing. Perhaps I am underestimating Nelson, but I fear it whizzed over her head. I think this stuff needs to be shown in a few informative graphs using simple clear language. If Owen gets through the evidentiary hearing, the defense needs to improve their ability to explain these issues to the jury. In fact they need an expert to explain these issues more clearly to OMara.

I don't know Nelson, but my bias is that the technical material goes over her head.  She doesn't have the background to facilitate processing the information that is coming to her. That is generally true of lawyers, other than the patent guys/gals.  O'Mara the same, as a matter of technical understanding.  Yes, a good expert educates his client, the lawyer, first.  But that process takes time, and O'Mara has his hands and mind full of the legal issues too, so he may be a "difficult" student for all sorts of reasons.

I think French was the better expert, but his information is easily couched as directly opposite Owen and Reich, as all three are in the business of forensic analysis.  Doddinton is brilliant, but not so good as an expert.  A good expert will correlate the expert's input to the case, in a simple way.  In short, will take the lead role, even to the point of rephrasing questions, noting questions that may be interesting or relevant in a general sense but don't fit the facts of this case, and otherwise be the primary force in keeping the flow of Q&A useful to the case.  A good expert will know how to succinctly express his opinion in a way that unequivocally leads to a certain outcome under the issue at hand - in this case the issue being the admissibility of Owen and/or Reich under the relevant legal standard.

Assuming Owen and Reich are admitted, French and Doddinton (and O'Mara) will spend considerable time and effort to make their presentations more concise and to the point; and more clear.  Diagrams and other aids will no doubt be brought to bear on the education process.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 07:13:22 AM
I wish MOM had been able to keep a better focus, but his witness at didn't really want to be kept focused.

Doddington is not a good expert, viewing expert as a link between technology and the law.  He's brilliant in his field, but allows (maybe insists) the lawyer to do all the driving and navigating.  That hands-off approach of Doddington would be okay if the lawyer has a reasonable grasp of how to make the links.

I think O'Mara learns from mistakes and experience, so any future performance will be an improvement.

Part of O'mara's problem is that he doesn't make his own logical process transparent, even when the issue has no scientific/technical content.  He does much better in written motions than he does in speaking.  Both he and West have demonstrated outstanding ability to react to sudden and unexpected developments, so they are plenty intelligent.  Communication is a difficult art, and it's easy to be critical using hindsight.  After saying all that, I think they are plenty competent.  Anybody can improve, but O'Mara doesn't need to improve in order to get this technical point across.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 09, 2013, 08:45:52 AM
A detailed report  (http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-case-states-scream-claims-called-absurd-ridiculous-and-imaginary-stuff/#comments)on the June 8th hearing.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 09, 2013, 09:01:24 AM
Doddington is not a good expert, viewing expert as a link between technology and the law.  He's brilliant in his field, but allows (maybe insists) the lawyer to do all the driving and navigating.  That hands-off approach of Doddington would be okay if the lawyer has a reasonable grasp of how to make the links.

I think O'Mara learns from mistakes and experience, so any future performance will be an improvement.

Part of O'mara's problem is that he doesn't make his own logical process transparent, even when the issue has no scientific/technical content.  He does much better in written motions than he does in speaking.  Both he and West have demonstrated outstanding ability to react to sudden and unexpected developments, so they are plenty intelligent.  Communication is a difficult art, and it's easy to be critical using hindsight.  After saying all that, I think they are plenty competent.  Anybody can improve, but O'Mara doesn't need to improve in order to get this technical point across.


Unless the whole point of Doddington's testimony was to establish that someone who's been in the voice ID business since the beginning yada yada etc has  nothing but contempt for both Owen and Reich and their methodology.

Doddington's CV against Owen's years of experience as a recording engineer who happened to hook up with some software people and created a couple of associations where he elected himself president and created a school where he's the chief instructor.

Not so much an argument against the methodology as an argument that "man, this guy is pathetic. I say so, and look at my qualifications--I've actually done all the stuff he tries to claim he's done".

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 09:37:25 AM

Unless the whole point of Doddington's testimony was to establish that someone who's been in the voice ID business since the beginning yada yada etc has  nothing but contempt for both Owen and Reich and their methodology.

Doddington's CV against Owen's years of experience as a recording engineer who happened to hook up with some software people and created a couple of associations where he elected himself president and created a school where he's the chief instructor.

Not so much an argument against the methodology as an argument that "man, this guy is pathetic. I say so, and look at my qualifications--I've actually done all the stuff he tries to claim he's done".

Doddington's testimony and rational was substantive, but on a different level or coming from a different direction than forensic analysis per se.  He knows voice, he knows how voice is digitized, he knows the statistics behind pattern match probabilities, etc.  But he does not use his expertise to evaluate voice match or related activities.  He is skilled at evaluating the tools that are used to voice match.

His criticism of Owen was substantive on the science, not at all based on appeal to credentials or lack, but the way it was presented might as well been in Chinese for 90% of the English-speaking people listening to it.  As a matter of scientific principle, what Owen claimed to do is impossible and what Reich claimed to hear is imaginary.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 09, 2013, 10:45:32 AM
That's sort of where I was going. Doddington's testimony was coming from the direction of "look--I've been in this my whole life. I either invented most of this stuff or I was there with the guys who invented it. I know what can and can't be done here because I've done it, worked on it or seen it worked on. These guys are an insult to me and to the scientific community. Shoot--I've even done a bunch of stuff I can't tell you about for people I can't mention. Owen? The guy who did tape transfer for Rogers and Hammerstein? Ha. Let me tell you about the time back at Texas Instruments when we.....or let me tell you about how we taught the F-16 to recognize voice commands and how difficult that was."

Or something like that.

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 10:58:35 AM
That's sort of where I was going. Doddington's testimony was coming from the direction of "look--I've been in this my whole life. I either invented most of this stuff or I was there with the guys who invented it. I know what can and can't be done here because I've done it, worked on it or seen it worked on. These guys are an insult to me and to the scientific community. Shoot--I've even done a bunch of stuff I can't tell you about for people I can't mention. Owen? The guy who did tape transfer for Rogers and Hammerstein? Ha. Let me tell you about the time back at Texas Instruments when we.....or let me tell you about how we taught the F-16 to recognize voice commands and how difficult that was."

Or something like that.

The way I see it, that describes a raw appeal to experience that I think Doddington at least shies away from, and probably outright rejects.  He's open minded, show him the (mathematical) technique, and prove that it works, and he's be giddy about it - if it works.  "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."  His criticism of Owen and Reich was based on their abusive overextension of science.  The reason the claims of Owen and Reich don't stand is because of science, not because Owen and Reich are undereducated or greenhorns.

Doddington needs to have an established scientific grounding in order to assert science against the quacks.  My impression is that he'd accept the results of a properly grounded and tested method, even if the results came from an undereducated greenhorn.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: annoyedbeyond on June 09, 2013, 11:53:33 AM
I agree with you about Doddington (why do I keep wanting to type "Donnington"?) but I believe I started this by wondering about MOM's reason(s) for putting him on the stand--and I have to think Doddington's contemptuous dismissals of Owen and Reich were part of what MOM was going for.

Or I could be completely wrong. It happened once before, so I know it's possible.

Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: jjr495 on June 09, 2013, 05:26:34 PM
What is the standard of review of Nelson's upcoming Frye ruling on appeal in Florida? I assume that after she has held an evidentiary hearing the standard would not be de novo?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: TalkLeft on June 09, 2013, 05:53:43 PM
Frye hearings are reviewed de novo.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 09, 2013, 06:00:05 PM
Is there any notion of burden of proof, that the Frye test is satisfied, for the side that wants to introduce the evidence in question?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 06:19:55 PM
Is there any notion of burden of proof, that the Frye test is satisfied, for the side that wants to introduce the evidence in question?

The burden is on the proponent.  I think you may be asking about the standard of proof, but since the Frye test is a question of law, "standard of proof" doesn't really play.  Either the expert passes the hurdle, or not.  Appellate review varies state by state.  As Jeralyn points out, in Florida, the standard of review is "de novo," which means the appellate court will take the record, and build on it if it wants to, and basically substitute it's sense for the lower court's sense.  The two courts may agree or disagree - but the ruling represents the appellate court's conclusion.

The State of Judicial Gatekeeping in Florida (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/daubert/fl.htm).

A good general source (more than Florida): Daubert On The Web (http://www.daubertontheweb.com/./)
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 06:30:27 PM
What is the standard of review of Nelson's upcoming Frye ruling on appeal in Florida? I assume that after she has held an evidentiary hearing the standard would not be de novo?

You didn't ask, but the timing of review will vary depending on which way she rules.  If she rules against the state, and the state appeals, the appellate review will stay trial proceedings.  If she rules against O'Mara, the trial goes on, and any appeal is taken after the trial, conditioned on defendant having been convicted.  I'm not sure if defendant has a right to appeal if there is a mistrial based only on a hung jury.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 09, 2013, 06:54:29 PM
The burden is on the proponent.  I think you may be asking about the standard of proof, but since the Frye test is a question of law, "standard of proof" doesn't really play.  Either the expert passes the hurdle, or not.  Appellate review varies state by state.  As Jeralyn points out, in Florida, the standard of review is "de novo," which means the appellate court will take the record, and build on it if it wants to, and basically substitute it's sense for the lower court's sense.  The two courts may agree or disagree - but the ruling represents the appellate court's conclusion.

The State of Judicial Gatekeeping in Florida (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/daubert/fl.htm).

A good general source (more than Florida): Daubert On The Web (http://www.daubertontheweb.com/./)
Yes, of course I meant standard.  The Florida reference you gave has:
Quote
Burden of Proof
     In Florida�s Frye test, the burden is on "the proponent of the evidence to prove the general acceptance of both the underlying scientific principle and the testing procedures used to apply that principle to the facts at hand."  Ramirez 651 So. 2d at 1168.  Additionally, general acceptance must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
The last sentence seems to say that you must show it more likely than not that the science and the way it was applied in the case are generally accepted, so a standard of proof is given.  How can anyone argue that the testing procedures used by Owen and Reich are "generally accepted"?  I can't think of a way Judge Nelson could spin this to let them testify.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 09, 2013, 07:08:41 PM
I can't think of a way Judge Nelson could spin this to let them testify.

See the link posted yesterday, in this thread, that says Ramirez is akin to Daubert, and that Castillo has superseded Ramirez.  I blockquoted the relevant section of that link in my post.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: RickyJim on June 09, 2013, 07:40:35 PM
Quote
Retreating from Ramirez, the Castillo court held that Frye only required the trial court to examine the general acceptance of the underlying science and experiments from which the expert witness obtained the data used to draw his conclusions, not the reasoning or conclusions themselves.
Are experiments to produce data like amplifying noise and claiming to hear words, repeating a poor quality segment so it will satisfy a computer program's requirement and raising the pitch of a voice signal to make a comparison, generally accepted?
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 10, 2013, 03:24:13 AM
Are experiments to produce data like amplifying noise and claiming to hear words, repeating a poor quality segment so it will satisfy a computer program's requirement and raising the pitch of a voice signal to make a comparison, generally accepted?

There is a large variety of arguments that can be made to allow the testimony.  Your argument can be disposed of by claiming that what Owen and Reich did was not "experiments to produce data"  It was analysis of evidence/data provided by others.

That said, the analytical techniques you noted are all known to create error where none existed before.  Just the same, Nelson is almost certainly going to punt this to the jury, assuming the state dares to put Owen and/or Reich on the witness stand.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: cboldt on June 10, 2013, 06:12:49 AM
I'm speculating that today's action will be more on the Frye hearing than on jury selection, as the prospective jurors will have to complete the questionnaires before voir dire begins.  I estimate it will take them a couple hours to plow through the written questions.
Title: Re: June 8th Hearing
Post by: Evil Chinchilla on June 10, 2013, 11:00:19 AM
I think the defense should have shown Figures 3, 5, and 6  from this article (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=sanjay_patil).
Fig 3 shows how pitch dramatically changes under different types of speech. Fig 5 shows how most but not all of the spectral features change. Fig 6 show how the first formant changes, but the others not as much.
So when Owen adjusted the frequency of the exemplar to match the pitch of the screams, he completely screwed up all of the other spectral signatures that his biometric system measures and compares.
So it was preordained that the exemplar and screams would not match. That is much worse than a 50% random coin flip. For George it was heads you lose tails the state wins because of Owens idiotic methodology.
Probably too late for this, but given everything Owen did to the samples of George's voice to get his results, I'm wondering if the defense could find someone with the same software he's peddling and have them pitch up a sample of Trayvon's voice, then compare the results to the results of an analysis of the same sample unaltered.

I suspect they wouldn't get any better match than what Owen did with George's voice, and it's one of those in-court demonstrations that makes the prosecution's case look bad.

And did Owen pitch up five semitones? I think that's from C to F on a piano keyboard.