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Fleming v. State, 1 A.3d 572 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2010)

Case (cite)
Fleming v. State, 1 A.3d 572 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2010)
Year
2010
State
Maryland
Type of proceeding
Appellate
Type of claim
Evidentiary
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
Admitted
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit; 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
Torin Suber, Michael Nickol
Summary of reasons for ruling
The court ackowledeged the recent academic debate re the reliability of firearms identification technique & advent of CMS method but still ruled the testimony admissible because this is issue is judicially noticed within Maryland and it is consistent with recent federal precedent around the country
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Frye-Reed
Did lower court hold a hearing
Y
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Torin Suber, Michael Nickol
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
NAS2009
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N
Frye Ruling
Y
Limiting testimony ruling
N
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
N/A
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
Y
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
Y
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes

“We have not been directed to any court in the country which has excluded such testimony.”

 

discussed CMS as an alternative to the more traditional comparative microscopic test and that “the existence of an alternative, even one which aspires to improve upon the shortcomings of its forebear, does not undermine the generally accepted nature of the traditional method.”