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Acoff v. State, 278 So.2d 210 (Ala. 1973)

Case (cite)
Acoff v. State, 278 So.2d 210 (Ala. 1973)
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
James L. Small
Summary of reasons for ruling
"Appellant's counsel objected to the testimony of James L. Small, an Assistant State Toxicologist, concerning certain ballistic tests conducted with rounds taken from the .32 caliber pistol found at the appellant's apartment. Mr. Small testified that he had spent more than six years testing different weapons by test firing them and by comparing the results with bullets which had been retrieved for use as evidence. He further stated that such training had been under the supervision of State Toxicologist Dr. C. J. Rehling. Over objection, Mr. Small was allowed to testify as follows: ‘A I found each of the evidence bullets, four in number, were fired from that weapon in addition the spent cartridge delivered to me as evidence, the spent cartridge was found to have a firing pin impression identical and it was fired in that weapon also.’ We are of the opinion that the trial court properly allowed this testimony in evidence. Douglas v. State, 42 Ala.App. 314, 163 So.2d 477, cert. den. 276 Ala. 703, 163 So.2d 496."
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Second standard
Did lower court hold a hearing
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009)
Discussion of 2016 PCAST report (PCAST)
Discussion of error rates / reliability
Frye Ruling
Limiting testimony ruling
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
Daubert ruling emphasizing – which factors – (list 1-5)
Ruling on qualifications of expert
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
Ruling on 702(b) – the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data
Ruling on 702(c) – the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case


Entire analysis in the reasoning section