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In the Bosque case, the defendant argued that evidence produced at a Tolbert hearing was not sufficiently reliable and should not have been amended. He argued that the admission of this evidence violated his constitutional right to due process. On the other hand, the state alleged that boss at the trailer and fire, killing a woman and her two kids. The defendant was home, city, which was an hour away from the woman. For Boston set fire to the trailer, the fire would’ve had to smolder for about four hours for the neighbors on the smoke.
An arson investigator determined that the fire began on the loveseat next to an interior wall the trailer. He concluded that the fire was slow burning. He also determined that inflamed for a few minutes then smoldered. He thought the fire could have smoldered for least two hours and as long as 67 for the neighbor saw the smoke and investigated. Breaking into the trailer introduce more oxygen, causing the flames to flareup. The arson investigator concluded that the fire was intentionally set.
The arson investigator won the second opinion. So he called a fire research engineer to assist him. The engineer was asked to determine whether the origin of the fire the loveseat was consistent with the damage to the mobile home and whether it was possible that the fire burned for as long as four hours before the neighbor saw. He also was asked what was the likely time for young child would become incapacitated from the smoke. The arson engineer conducted several tests his laboratory and testified as an expert for the state he agreed with the arson investigator that the fire started in the loveseat and was set it on purpose. The trial court held a pretrial hearing on experiments in common admissible. The Court of Criminal Appeals review the trial court’s decision to admit or deny novel scientific evidence.
An expert can testify as to expert opinion which is based on sufficient facts or data, is the product of reliable principles and methods, and the witness has applied these principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case. Trial judges act as gatekeepers, ensuring that all novel scientific evidence is both reliable and relevant.
In determining whether novel scientific evidence is admissible at trial court should consider for things. The first consideration is whether the scientific method has been or can be tested. Secondly, the court should determine whether the inferior technique has been subjected to peer review and publication. Thirdly, the court should consider whether the techniques known or potential rate of error has been revealed. Fourth, there should be a determination of whether the theory is gained general acceptance and relevant scientific community in addition the testimony must have valid scientific connection to the pertinent facts. This is not a definitive checklist for test.
In any case, the testimony must be relevant. It also must assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue by bearing a valid scientific connection. Based on the arson engineers investigation and laboratory experiments, he concluded that the daughter likely would’ve been incapacitated in 15 minutes after the fire began. What a person really needs to do is hire the best Tulsa criminal defense attorney. A lot of people like Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale.
The arson engineer conducted five test. The first three were not representative of the actual trailer fire. There were problems replicating the original trailer in the first. The last two test more closely replicating the conditions of the actual fire. During the fourth test, the fire burn slowly for four hours. It did so until a door was open and are entered. When this happened flames grew quickly. During the last test the glass windows were reinstalled no windows broke at the front window developed a small hole similar to that observed in the original trailer fire. That fire ran out of oxygen and went out after about two hours.
The experiments did not exactly replicate the original fire, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. The arson engineer did not at all the furniture in the experiments that was in the trailer. He included only that which he thought would been involved in the early stages of the fire.
Boss argued that the arson engineer’s testimony was not relevant because this test did not simulate the actual conditions of the fire. Therefore, he argued, the testimony had no valid scientific connection to the issue at trial. The appellate court however, found the testimony was relevant because there was a genuine issue of fact regarding whether the defendant could’ve set the fire. The court has held that experiments to prove that specific acts or operations present in the case led to an alleged result should be made under similar conditions and circumstances. The mission of the evidence is within the trial court’s discretion.
An abuse of discretion is any unreasonable or arbitrary action made without proper consideration of the relevant facts and law. It is also described as clearly erroneous conclusion and judgment or clearly against the logic and effects of the facts. The question is whether the experiment is sufficiently similar to help jurors understand the issue, or whether the circumstances are so different the evidence will confuse the jury. The ultimate question is whether under the circumstances of the case, the trial court abused its discretion in amending the evidence.
Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale says that there are several cases dealing with the admission of scientific evidence. In one case the 10th circuit Court of Appeals found that there was no abuse of discretion in refusing to admit an experiment which both failed to replicate existing conditions of an accident. On the other hand, and one case the court found that there was an abuse of discretion to commit experimental results where the experimental conditions differed from an accident. It has also been held to be an abuse of discretion to commit experimental testimony where the experiment was conducted on significantly different vehicle into similar conditions.