Sunday, December 03, 2006
Nebraska Supreme Court rejects murder defendant's Daubertchallenge to prosecutor's offering cellular telephone records that included the locations of the cell towers from which various cell phone cals had been transmitted.State v. Robinson, 272 Neb. 582 Filed December 1, 2006. No. S-05-107. During a murder trial in Douglas County, the defendant challenged the State's offer of cell phone records from Alltel, Cox and Cricket. The Supreme Court approves admitting computer print outs of the call records and also evidence from the records that identified the towers from which the phone company had transmitted various calls. Although this involved technical issues, the Supreme Court dismisses the Defendantss Daubert/Shafersmann challenge, explaining that the records did not present any opinion evidence. If a witness is not offering opinion testimony, that witness' testimony is not subject to inquiry pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S. Ct. 2786, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469 (1993)..Phone company rep's testimony was limited to explaining the data contained in exhibits 112 and 113, and he did not offer any opinions based on that data. Compare Pullin v. State, 272 Ga. 747, 534 S.E.2d 69 (2000) (inquiry into scientific theory required where expert opined, based on cellular telephone location data, that particular telephone calls could not have been made from location asserted by defendant). Since Phone co rep offered no expert opinion, his testimony presented no basis for an inquiry into his reasoning or methodology pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S. Ct. 2786, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469 (1993). To the extent that the defendant wanted to raise more general questions about the reliability of the records and the cellular location data, Phone rep was available for cross-examination on those issues.
Posted by stan_sipple at 8:07 AM