Expert Witnesses: HGN or HGH same thing

Defense. Defense. Defense. First, we like the line from an article covering the HR King's federal jury trial: Defense lawyer Allen Ruby got Hoskins to admit that he gave Bonds' ex-mistress a $10,000 loan to lawyer up … Second, according to this article, an "expert" witness testified for the prosecution about the effects steroids and human growth hormone could have on a person: back acne, roid rage, big head and sexual complications. On the Assistant United States Attorney witness list is "lay" witness, Kimbery Bell, The King's ex-paramour. Any guesses on what she will say on direct examination when asked about Barry's temper, "bacne," head size, or sex drive? The reports say Ruby objected to the steroid expert's testimony about the effects of HGH because of the lack of scientific studies on the subject. "As the law tells us, unsupported theories don't get to be used in court," Ruby said. The judge overruled his objection and the jury must conscientiously and carefully consider the steroid expert's testimony. As DUI defense lawyers, we run into this expert witness issue all the time. Though as DUI defense attorneys, we encounter "experts" on HGN not HGH. HGN is Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, and it is a staple of any DUI/DWI investigation. The officer looks for 3 signs (cues) in each eye: lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and sustained nystagmus at extreme deviation, and where the angle of onset begins. The officer like to say, "the eyes never lie." Although, the jury in the trial of Barry Bonds will consider the expert testimony, it doesn't matter because Barry says he didn't know what he was taking. Challenging the expert's testimony, however, has worked in other cases. For example, imagine Dr. Marceline Burns, not being allowed to testify in a DUI trial on HGN. "The district court was not required to accede to the State's take-it-or leave-it proffer of Dr. Burns, and it did not abuse its discretion in requring the State to produce an expert who could explain in greater detail than Dr. Burns the physiological and pharmacological basis of the six cues that make up the HGN FST." New Mexico v. Lasworth 131 N.M. 739 (2002). If Dr. Burns doesn't have the credentials to testify about HGN, then how does the "expert" witness the prosecutor drags in from the local crime lab?

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