293 F. 1013 (D.D.C. 1923), 3968, Frye v. United States

Docket Nº3968.
Citation293 F. 1013
Party NameFRYE v. UNITED STATES.
Case DateDecember 03, 1923
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)

Page 1013

293 F. 1013 (D.D.C. 1923)

FRYE

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 3968.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia.

December 3, 1923

Submitted November 7, 1923.

Appeal from the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

Richard V. Mattingly and Foster Wood, both of Washington, D.C., for appellant.

Peyton Gordon and J. H. Bilbrey, both of Washington, D.C., for the United States.

Before SMYTH, Chief Justice, VAN ORSDEL, Associate Justice, and MARTIN, presiding Judge of the United States Court of Customs Appeals.

VAN ORSDEL, Associate Justice.

Appellant, defendant below, was convicted of the crime of murder in the second degree, and from the judgment prosecutes this appeal.

A single assignment of error is presented for our consideration. In the course of the trial counsel for defendant offered an expert witness to testify to the result of a deception test made upon defendant. The test is described as the systolic blood pressure deception test. It is asserted that blood pressure is influenced by change in the emotions of the witness, and that the systolic blood pressure rises are brought about by nervous impulses sent to the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Scientific experiments, it is claimed, have demonstrated that fear, rage, and pain always produce a rise of systolic blood pressure, and that conscious deception or falsehood, concealment of facts, or guilt of crime, accompanied by fear of detection when the person is under examination, raises the systolic blood pressure in a curve, which corresponds exactly to the struggle going on in the subject's mind, between fear and attempted control of that fear, as the examination

Page 1014

touches the vital points in respect of which he is attempting to deceive the examiner.

In other words, the theory seems to be that truth is spontaneous, and comes without conscious effort, while the utterance of a falsehood requires a conscious effort, which is reflected in the blood pressure. The rise thus produced is easily detected and distinguished from the rise produced by mere fear of the examination itself. In the former instance, the pressure rises higher than in the latter, and is more pronounced as the examination proceeds, while in the latter case, if the subject is telling the truth, the pressure registers highest at the beginning of the examination, and gradually diminishes as the examination proceeds.

Prior to the trial defendant was...

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4077 practice notes
  • 684 F.2d 1329 (9th Cir. 1982), 80-1410, United States v. Fleishman
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 26, 1982
    ...510 (9th Cir. 1978) (quoting United States v. Brown, 557 F.2d 541, 556 (6th Cir. 1977), quoting Frye v. United States, 54 App.D.C. 46, 293 F. 1013, 1014 (1923)). [7] Fleishman's statements were, without question, in furtherance of the conspiracy. Statements concerning the whereabouts of Fle......
  • 753 F.2d 1522 (9th Cir. 1985), 84-3069, United States v. Solomon
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 22, 1985
    ...technique is admissible if it is generally accepted as a reliable technique among the scientific community. Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013, 1014 (D.C.Cir.1923). The admission of a tape recording of narcoanalysis with an expert's explanation of the technique was held prejudicial error by......
  • 885 F.2d 1529 (11th Cir. 1989), 86-5335, United States v. Piccinonna
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 28, 1989
    ...McCormick on Evidence Sec. 203 (3rd ed.1984). The general acceptance requirement originated in the 1923 case of Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C.Cir. 1923). Frye involved a murder prosecution in which the trial court refused to admit results from a systolic blood pressure test, the p......
  • 955 F.2d 786 (2nd Cir. 1992), 52, United States v. Jakobetz
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 9, 1992
    ...The question of when novel scientific evidence should be admitted as evidence at trial was first addressed in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C.Cir.1923). Under this standard, admissibility is governed by whether the novel scientific technique has been "sufficiently established t......
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3802 cases
  • 473 F.Supp. 720 (D.S.C. 1979), Crim. 79-86, United States v. Grant
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit United States District Court of South Carolina
    • July 16, 1979
    ...no reason to try an issue, ordinarily the responsibility of a jury, by use of a polygraph. In Frye v. United States, 54 U.S.App.D.C. 46, 293 F. 1013, (D.C.C.A., 1923), the first reported federal case on polygraph admissibility, the court stated the appropriate standard for the judicial dete......
  • 753 F.2d 1522 (9th Cir. 1985), 84-3069, United States v. Solomon
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 22, 1985
    ...technique is admissible if it is generally accepted as a reliable technique among the scientific community. Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013, 1014 (D.C.Cir.1923). The admission of a tape recording of narcoanalysis with an expert's explanation of the technique was held prejudicial error by......
  • 757 F.Supp. 661 (D.Md. 1991), Civ. A. MJG-90-1730, Adams v. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Maryland, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit United States District Court (Maryland)
    • February 27, 1991
    ...venerable, but irrelevant, decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C.Cir.1923). In that case, the court established the criteria for determining whether to admit expert testimony based on some scientific te......
  • 835 F.2d 1240 (8th Cir. 1987), 86-1278, Little v. Armontrout
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • December 23, 1987
    ...of hypnosis to aid recall does not meet the requirements of Missouri's version of the Frye test. Id. at 829 (citing Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C.Cir.1923)) (scientific evidence admissible only if it has gained general acceptance in its field). The Court went on to observe that mu......
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47 firm's commentaries
  • Chambers Global Practice Guide: Product Liability & Safety
    • United States
    • JD Supra United States
    • July 15, 2019
    ...testimony is admissible if the expert’s methodology is generally accepted by experts in that particular field. Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). Methods that are in experimental stages or not well-recognised generally will not be admissible. While general acceptance is re......
  • Recent Developments in Environmental Law in Indiana
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • July 12, 2002
    ...caused birth defects. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision by Justice Blackmun, rejected the prevailing test under Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) concerning the admissibility of scientific evidence. Under Frye, which concerned the admissibility of polygraph evidence, t......
  • What is the proper standard for determining defamation of a company's products?
    • United States
    • JD Supra United States
    • September 28, 1998
    ...(4th ed.) Extraordinary Writs, § 33, pp. 811-812.) 2. The federal counterpart to the Kelly rule, Frye v. United States (D.C.Cir.1923) 293 F. 1013, 1014, has been replaced by Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1993) 509 U.S. 579, 589, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469, which does no......
  • The Use And Misuse Of Expert Testimony In Bad Faith Actions
    • United States
    • JD Supra United States
    • May 8, 2013
    ...is only one factor in the overall reliability analysis, and instead continue to follow the rule first laid down in Frye United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), requiring that new or novel expert scientific testimony be based on methods or principles generally accepted in the scientific......
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186 books & journal articles
  • Toxic Tort Litigation
    • United States
    • Environmental Litigation: Law and Strategy. Second Edition -
    • January 1, 2019
    ...doctor). 77. TOXIC TORT LITIGATION, supra note 22, at 160. 78. 509 U.S. 579 (1993). 79. 522 U.S. 136 (1997). 80. 526 U.S. 137 (1999). 81. 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. bro53655_06_ch06_257-294.indd 281 5/22/19 12:10 PM 282 • Environmental Litigation demonstrate reliability and relevance by a prepo......
  • Expert handwriting testimony: is the writing really on the wall?
    • United States
    • Suffolk Journal of Trial & Appellate Advocacy Nbr. 11, January 2006
    • January 1, 2006
    ...of Evidence 701); see supra note 32 and accompanying text (detailing use of lay witnesses for authentication of unknown document). (52) 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) overruled by Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). (53) Id. at 1014 (reasoning that methodologies......
  • Black rage and the criminal law: a principled approach to a polarized debate.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 143 Nbr. 6, June - June - June 1995
    • June 1, 1995
    ...2786,2794 (1993) (setting the current, flexible standard for the admission of expert testimony in federal courts); Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) (setting the older, stricter federal standard still followed in some jurisdictions). This question, though, is outside of th......
  • Of swords and shields: the role of clinical practice guidelines in medical malpractice litigation.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 149 Nbr. 3, January - January 2001
    • January 1, 2001
    ...Court altered its approach to the admissibility of scientific evidence. Previously, under the rule announced in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), overruled by Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 589 (1993), scientific evidence was admitted only if the scie......
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