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In re Personal Restraint of Trapp, 2011 WL 5966266 (Ct. App. Wash. 2011)

Case (cite)
In re Personal Restraint of Trapp, 2011 WL 5966266 (Ct. App. Wash. 2011)
Year
2011
State
Washington
Type of proceeding
Appellate
Type of claim
Evidentiary
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
Admitted
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Ernest Peele; Raymon Kusumi; George Kass
Summary of reasons for ruling
Petitioner argues that a letter from the FBI saying that CBLA is unreliable and may be misleading and the NAS2009 report constitute newly discovered evidence. The court holds that the NAS report constitutes impeachment material, not newly discovered evidence and that the FBI letter would not have changed the outcome in the trial due to other overwhelming evidence and denies the petition.
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
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) or PCAST report (PCAST)
Y
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N
Frye Ruling
N
Limiting testimony ruling
N
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
N/A
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

On the NAS report as new evidence: “Trapp’s claim that the NAS report constitutes “substantive evidence” is misguided. The report does not call for a reassessment of toolmark evidence presented in cases that have already been tried, nor does it address the specific type of toolmark evidence presented in Trapp’s case—head stamps created from a bunter. And, while the report points to the subjectivity of toolmark identification and lack of a statistical basis for analysis, this information is not new and was available at the time of Trapp’s trial. Any “new” information contained in the report merely provides a general basis for challenging the admissibility of evidence in future trials or possible avenues for impeachment. Furthermore, Trapp does not identify any authority that requires or persuades us to overturn a conviction simply because general scientific studies contradict prior opinion proffered at trial by expert witnesses.”