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Commonwealth v. Janqdhari, 225 A.3d 1190

Case (cite)
Commonwealth v. Janqdhari, 225 A.3d 1190
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
No Error due to Harmless Error
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
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)
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