Before any scientific evidence can be used in court, including what we commonly refer to as forensic evidence, the court must determine whether that evidence is admissible. In 1923, in Frye v. United States, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia established what came to be known as the Frye standard. The Frye standard held that expert opinion based on a scientific technique is admissible only where the technique is generally accepted as reliable in the relevant scientific community.

Seventy years later, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Court of the United States held that the Federal Rules of Evidence superseded the Frye standard as the standard of admissibility. Some states, however, still follow the Frye standard.

After reviewing the required materials and conducting your own independent research into the relevant issues below by reviewing law review articles, treatises, and related cases using Westlaw in the Ashford University Library or another legal research site. Try looking in Legal Search Engines, Directories, and Other Research Tools in the Southern Illinois University School of Law Library, which has links to numerous legal research sites.

The Legal Issues Analysis paper must include the following elements:

  • Discuss the current legal standard for introduction of scientific evidence.
  • Review the history of the standard.
  • Compare and analyze the Daubert standard, the Frye standard, and Rule 702.
  • Discuss whether your state uses the Daubert standard or the Frye standard.
  • Evaluate whether Daubert or Frye is the more appropriate standard.
  • Evaluate the current standard. Is it satisfactory? If yes, why? If no, what would be a better standard?

The Legal Issues Analysis paper

  • Must be approximately 1,000 words (approximately four double-spaced pages in length not including title and references pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use at least two credible sources in addition to the course text and the other required materials (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Frye v. United States, and Rule 702 – Testimony by Expert Witness).
  • The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

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