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Technology Goes to Court

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
3 pages
This paper briefly discusses the need to consider scientific validity and the qualifications of expert witness when determining the admissibility of evidence or the arrest resulting from the use of new technologies.
Technological advancements introduced within the criminal justice community over the last decade, such as DNA analysis, automated fingerprint information systems, computer-aided dispatching, in-car videos, and complex information management and communication systems have made law enforcement more efficient and officers safer on the job. However, this new technology must also receive approval from the courts for acceptance within the criminal justice community. The admissibility of the evidence or the arrest that is the result of using new technologies involves two general considerations: the acceptance of the science itself, called scientific validity and the qualifications of expert witnesses. This paper briefly discusses both of these considerations through the citation of court cases.

Date Published: January 1, 2001