What is the "Daubert standard" for admissibility of scientific evidence?

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The Zimmerman Court is currently holding a Daubert hearing a Daubert hearing vis a vis the desire of the defense to submit into evidence an animated video they have created to communicate their view of the events of February 26, 2012 to the jury. The Daubert standard replaced the older Frye standard in Florida effective July 1, 2013. A Daubert hearing is the means by which a trial judge makes a preliminary assessment of whether an expert’s scientific testimony is based on reasoning or methodology that is scientifically valid and can properly be applied to the facts at issue.

Daubert has five criteria for admissibility of scientific evidence:

  • whether the theory or technique in question can be and has been tested;
  • whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication;
  • its known or potential error rate; (
  • the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation; and
  • whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community.

See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The Daubert standard is the test currently used in the federal courts and the majority of state courts.

Return to the live coverage of the Zimmerman trial here:

Zimmerman Trial Day 11: Live Video, Analysis of State’s Case & Witnesses


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