Skip to content

Commonwealth v. Janqdhari, 225 A.3d 1190

Case (cite)
Commonwealth v. Janqdhari, 225 A.3d 1190
Year
2019
State
Pennsylvania
Type of proceeding
Appellate
Type of claim
Evidentiary
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
Admitted
What was the ruling?
No Error due to Harmless Error
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Officer Judith Kinniry
Summary of reasons for ruling
Officers in this Commonwealth are regularly admitted as experts to identify factory-standard firearms and ammunition, though these are items with which firearms owners might be familiar. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Cousar, 638 Pa. 171, 154 A.3d 287, 295 (Pa. Super. 2017) (admitting officer as firearms identification expert to identify .357 revolver); Commonwealth v. Ramos, 573 Pa. 605, 827 A.2d 1195, 1198 (Pa. Super. 2003) (admitting officer as firearms identification expert to identify caliber of fatal bullet). Here, Officer Kinniry offered a factual description that could alternatively lead an everyday citizen to picture either an illegal, ersatz firearms accessory13Link to the text of the note or trash. See N.T. Trial, 12/13/17, at 59 ("a black cylinder . . . wrapped in black tape."). Nothing indicates that the item described would be identifiable as a silencer to the ordinary, law-abiding firearms owner, let alone the "ordinary layman." Griffith, supra at 1238. Consequently, the court erred by admitting [*17] Officer Kinniry's lay opinion. Id.Nevertheless, the court's error was harmless.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
N/A
Did lower court hold a hearing
N/A
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Kinniry
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
N/A
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N
Frye Ruling
N
Limiting testimony ruling
N
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
N
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
N
Daubert ruling emphasizing – which factors – (list 1-5)
N/A
Ruling on qualifications of expert
N
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
N
Ruling on 702(b) – the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data
N
Ruling on 702(c) – the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods
N
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes