Frye v. United States

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



While courts will go a long way in admitting expert testimony deduced from a well-recognized scientific principle or discovery, the thing from which the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.


Defendant was convicted of second degree murder and argued on appeal that the trial court erred by refusing to allow an expert witness testify as to the result of a systolic blood pressure deception test taken by defendant.


Was it improper for the court to disallow a testimony of an expert witness for the systolic blood pressure deception test?




The court affirmed defendant's conviction. The court held that defendant failed to establish that the test was demonstrative and not merely experimental. The systolic blood pressure deception test had not gained the requisite standing and scientific recognition among psychological and physiological authorities at the time of trial to justify the introduction of expert testimony regarding the test.

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