More on Frye and Daubert.

Author:Hustead, Bob
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor

Regarding the article "Adoption of Daubert in the Amendment to F.S. [section]90.702 Tightens the Rules for Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony" (Sept/Oct) on Florida's statutory adoption of the Daubert test for admitting scientific or expert opinion, Florida courts abandoned the Frye "general acceptance" inquiry no later than 1968. In Coppolino v. State, 223 So. 2d 68 (Fla. 2d DCA 1968), a chemical test for detection of succinylcholine chloride was invented by the New York City medical examiner specifically to convict Dr. Coppolino of murdering his wife with that substance. No test had previously been available, and nobody but the inventor had ever passed on the methodology. Remarkably, the opinion turned Frye out to pasture by expressly making the lack of scientific literature a pro-admissibility virtue and observing that Dr. Coppolino had not shown the test to be "so unreliable and scientifically unacceptable" as to make its admission reversible error. All this against the Frye background that it was the proponent's...

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