In 1993, the Supreme Court relaxed the standard of admissibility of scientific evidence
and expert testimony in Daubert v.
74) Additionally, the court noted that Daubert allows for the admissibility of scientific evidence
even if not generally accepted in the relevant scientific community, thereby expressing faith in the adversary system to test "shaky but admissible evidence.
The Federal Rules of Evidence allow judges to obtain guidance on the admissibility of scientific evidence
from independent scientific experts so that they need not rely solely on experts presented by the adversarial parties.
Judicial interpretation and application of this test are then used to examine the potential admissibility of scientific evidence
in pesticide exposure cases, assuming that the requirements of the first prong -- valid scientific knowledge -- have been met.
Other Court decisions in this term overruled a troublesome 1990 Supreme Court double jeopardy decision, loosened the standards for the admissibility of scientific evidence
, and held that the eighth amendment's Excessive Fines Clause must be considered in forfeiture actions.
Appellate Decision Describes Proper Role of Trial Judges in Ruling on the Admissibility of Scientific Evidence
and Sets an Important Precedent for Victims of Disease Caused by Toxic Substances
Before the holdings in the Daubert trilogy of cases, federal courts in the United States had considered the admissibility of scientific evidence
under the "Frye standard," derived from a brief, citation-free opinion issued in 1923.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts's current standard for admissibility of scientific evidence
at trial is based on relevancy and reliability.
The Daubert Tracker carries court decisions and documents on the admissibility of scientific evidence
and expert witness testimony.
One of the greatest sources of confusion in Daubert was the Court's admonition that in determining the admissibility of scientific evidence
, the "focus, of course, must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate.
1] By way of background, the ostensible purpose of Daubert is to eliminate unproven or "junk" science from the courtroom, allowing the judge significant discretion in the admissibility of scientific evidence
The court reiterated that the test for determining the admissibility of scientific evidence
was the Frye test of general acceptance in the scientific community and expert testimony establishing that the technique was sufficiently reliable.