The continuous improvement of the US legal system has always been the primary objective of the government. Lives of many people depend on the evidence. Forensic assessment has been introduced as a new way of providing relevant evidence. Forensic psychology employs psychological theories and data in finding answers to many legal questions. A psychologist can be hired to prove the insanity or competency of the individual in the court. Depending on the task, forensic psychologists has to conduct interviews, tests, or review existing material to give the right and profound answer to the problem. Nevertheless, there is always a doubt whether particular scientific evidence should be accepted as relevant. The Daubert standard provides courts with expanded criteria for expert testimony acceptance, and it is a valuable tool in the forensic assessment that has proved its validity in practice.
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The Description of Daubert Standard
The Daubert standard represents a set of rules aimed at defining whether the particular case in the trial should be resolved with the help of scientific expertise. The Daubert standard is comprised of three cases. Each of them emphasizes the significance of the defining whether expert testimony is relevant to the case. The trial judge plays the role of the “gatekeeper” who has to conduct a profound investigation of the evidence before its admission (Discussions of the Committee on Daubert Standards, 2006). Several factors should be taken into consideration before accepting the scientific testimony. Some of these factors include the potential or existing testing of the particular technique or theory, the possible error rate, and the acceptance of the theory in the scientific world.
Daubert Standard and its Influence on Forensic Assessment
The impact of the Daubert standard in forensic science is drastic. It has proved its validity through numerous cases. Current results show that the level and number of admissions have decreased with the implementation of the Daubert standard. Some scientists argue that the norm restricts the general potential of forensic science. For instance, in 1995 Daubert standard was implemented in the handwriting analysis. Before that case, known as United States v. Starzecpyzel, writing was regarded as the valid testimony. Scientists claimed it through the Daubert standard and were right. Later, Daubert standard challenged even more significant issues such as fingerprinting and firearms identification (Giannelli, 2011). Nevertheless, it proved its reliability by providing facts that cannot be neglected.
The importance of Daubert standard to forensic assessment
Daubert standard is of great significance for forensic assessment because it provides regulations for judging whether the theory or data are relevant. The standard sets particular requirements that should be met when conducting the forensic assessment. These rules are especially important for criminal cases. The life and freedom of the person may be dependent on testimony. Besides, Daubert standard gives the admission to several important forensic assessment that have not been admissible under the Frye standard (Heibrun, Grisso, & Goldstein, 2009).
Daubert standard represents a significant step in forensic assessment. It includes a set of rules that should be taken into consideration by a judge before deciding whether expert testimony is relevant to the case. The judge has to play the role of the gatekeeper. Daubert standard proved its efficiency in many instances. It is of extreme importance for the forensic assessment. It controls the validity of expert testimony that can influence the verdict and change the life of the individual.
Discussions of the Committee on Daubert Standards. (2006). Washington, D.C., USA: National Academies Press.
Giannelli, P. (2011). Daubert and Forensic Science: The Pitfalls of Law Enforcement Control of
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Scientific Research. University of Illinois Law Review, 2011(1), 53-90.
Heibrun, K., Grisso, T., & Goldstein, A. N. (2009). Foundations of Forensic Mental Health Assessment. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.