Criminal – Daubert: DEBRULER V. COM. (SC 8/23/2007)

DEBRULER V. COM.
CRIMINAL:  EVIDENCE (DAUBERT AND SCENT SNIFFING DOGS)

2005-SC-000989-MR.pdf
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING (MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT)
COUNTY: DAVIES
DATE RENDERED: 08/23/2007

SYNOPSIS: Proposed testimony concerning the use of canine scent tracking does not involve scientific knowledge, and therefore, does not require a Daubert hearing prior to its use.

TC did not abuse its discretion in denying Debruler’s request for a Daubert hearing prior to the admission of the canine scent tracking testimony. Testimony concerning the use of canine scent tracking in a particular case does not involve scientific knowledge. The practice of using trained dogs to track a human scent lacks the hallmark of scientific knowledge identified by the Supreme Court. Further, the Commonwealth provided sufficient foundation for admission of the testimony concerning canine scent tracking. Next, TC did not err in refusing to grant a continuance or to exclude the testimony, where no violation of the agreed discovery order occurred. Finally, joinder of the kidnapping and robbery charges was proper as there was significant evidence upon which to conclude that the two offenses were related criminal acts and there was no prejudice to Defendant.

Digested by Scott C. Byrd
www.olginandbyrd.com

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