Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner-Appellant.
Argument: Walters’ counsel’s utter failure to communicate constructively denied him counsel so prejudice should be presumed. Alternatively, Mr. Walters established prejudice under Strickland and Frye resulting from his counsel’s pervasive neglect. There is a reasonable probability that the favorable March plea offer would have been accepted and entered if counsel had communicated with Mr. Walters. If Mr. Stanley’s deficient performance is instead viewed as a series of separate errors, Strickland compels a cumulative consideration of prejudice.
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents.
Argument: The Daubert standard is superior to Frye for ensuring the reliability of expert evidence and preventing wrongful convictions. Unlike Frye, expert testimony under Daubert must be based on more than “pure opinion.” Unlike Frye, which is limited to considering the expert’s methodology, Daubert evaluates the reliability of an expert’s methodology, reasoning and opinions. Unlike Daubert, which applies to all expert testimony, Frye only applies to “new or novel” scientific techniques. A number of unreliable forensic techniques are admitted under Frye because they are no longer new or novel. The Frye standard, which measures general acceptance by the insular community in question, exacerbates the problem of junk science.