Davis v. United States
165 U.S. 373 (1897)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Davis v. United States, 165 U.S. 373 (1897)

Davis v. United States

No. 577

Submitted January 19, 1897

Decided February 15, 1897

165 U.S. 373

Syllabus

Although there is no appearance for the plaintiff in error, yet, as this is a criminal case, involving the punishment of death, the court has carefully examined the record, to see that no injustice has been done the accused.

After a witness, qualified as an expert, has given his professional opinion in reference to that which he has seen or heard, or upon hypothetical questions, it is ordinarily opening the door to too wide an inquiry to interrogate him as to what other scientific men have said upon such matters, or in respect to the general teachings of science thereon, or to permit books of science to be offered in evidence.

An expert on behalf of the defense, in cross-examination, was asked: "You

Page 165 U. S. 374

think from your experience with him, from your conversation with him, that he killed the man because he threatened his life?

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