Breakthrough stuff! CNN and HLN did a bit of digging with the audio experts who claimed that it was not George Zimmerman screaming in the background of a 911 tape. They picked up the main technical and legal bars to the use of this "evidence" but completely failed to follow the money and note that Tom Owen is promoting the new product he rolled out March 1; their thoughts have been picked up at several outlets:
Owen, a forensic audio analyst and chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, also said he does not believe the screams came from Zimmerman.
He cited software that is widely used in Europe and has become recently accepted in the United States that examines characteristics like pitch and the space between spoken words to analyze voices. Using it, he found a 48% likelihood the voice is Zimmerman's. At least 60% is necessary to feel confident two samples are from the same source, he told CNN on Monday -- meaning it's unlikely it was Zimmerman who can be heard yelling.
The experts, both of whom said they have testified in cases involving audio analysis, stressed they cannot say who was screaming.
But CNN and HLN legal analysts Beth Karas and Sonny Hostin raised questions about what the public should consider regarding the conclusions reached.Hostin said several questions and variables must be considered, including the fact the tests did not analyze similar speech. That is, the analysis was based on screams heard from a distance in a 911 call, compared with a direct phone conversation Zimmerman had with a 911 operator.
"Ideally, you want (Zimmerman or Martin's) voice saying the same exact thing, screaming 'Help!' in order to analyze it," she said.
Would these tests be admissible in court and considered evidence?"It really depends on the individual judge," Hostin said. "In Florida, they are going to conduct a Frye test, the legal test, which asks if the science is generally accepted in the community.
"Karas questioned whether the test stood up to the voice-comparison standards of the American Board of Recorded Evidence. The standards indicate that, when analyzing speech, there should be a minimum of at least 10 words to be compared with each other in order to say you can have a "possible elimination" conclusion. But in this case, the cries for help don't have nearly that number of words.
Owen said the published American Board of Recorded Evidence standards apply only partially to the kind of test he conducted. "These standards apply to the older aural-spectrographic analysis and software," Owen said. "This only partially applies to the biometric software.
"Both Karas and Hostin urged caution in reaching any conclusions about the findings of Primeau and Owen.
"I do think we need to take a step back, as with most of the facts in this case, and look at it the way the court would," Hostin said. "And that is by asking if the circumstances of how, and if, the test was done, OK, and wait to determine whether it's reliable."
First, Jeralyn Meritt told you so, and so did I. And for an additional two cents? The idea that some court in Florida will break ground and be the first to accept new technology for which standards have not been agreed is absurd. How, one might wonder, is the defense supposed to rebut this?
Let's see if any other members of the Big Media have retained a bit of their research and critical thinking skills.