Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dressing the Emperor

From last week's unpublished opinion in United States v. McKreith, No. 03-11199 (11th Cir. July 8, 2005):
The plaid shirt, manufactured by "Van Huessen," seized from the residence was sent to an FBI crime lab and was analyzed by forensic analyst Richard Vorder Bruegge. Mr. Vorder Bruegge analyzed the shirt, along with various videotapes and photographs, to determine if that shirt and other articles he was given matched the articles worn by the robber in the surveillance images. Vorder Bruegge testified that "all of the characteristics of this shirt matched the class characteristics of the shirt worn by the bank robber in those cases that we could see the shirt" . . . .

The district court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the testimony of government forensic expert Richard Vorder Bruegge. The court conducted a [Daubert] hearing, where McKreith had the opportunity to voir dire and, during his testimony, cross-examine Vorder Bruegge as to his scientific techniques and conclusions, including the commonality of the shirt seized in McKreith's residence with the shirts depicted in the banks' surveillance images.
Oh, sure. The forensic expert "analyzed" the shirt and used "scientific techniques" to establish the shirt's "commonality."

The first thing he did, we imagine, was to cut a fabric sample from those video surveillance tapes . . .


Post a Comment

<< Home

Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.