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Jack v. Commonwealth, 1 S.W.2d 961 (Ct. App. Ky. 1928)

Case (cite)
Jack v. Commonwealth, 1 S.W.2d 961 (Ct. App. Ky. 1928)
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Error to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Does not name
Summary of reasons for ruling
"It thus appears that this is a technical subject, and in order to give an expert opinion thereon a witness should have made a special study of the subject and have suitable instruments and equipment to make proper tests. In so saying we do not mean to accept or approve of any particular theory or test, but merely to illustrate the crudeness of an attempted test by parties without any special knowledge of ballistics and with only an ordinary magnifying glass. Clearly the witnesses in this case were not qualified to give such opinions and conclusions and the admission of such evidence was erroneous and prejudicial. However, some of the facts developed by this examination may be pertinent, and such of these as are susceptible of demonstration before the jury are competent. With this evidence eliminated, sufficient remains to authorize a submission to the jury."
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


“This evidence is important if competent, but highly prejudicial if incompetent; and its consideration demands more than casual notice. In recent years much study and research have been devoted to the subject of ballistics as applied to judicial proceedings, now styled “Forensic Ballistics,” which it is claimed by some has reached the status of an exact science. See article by Major Calvin H. Goddard in Popular Science Monthly, November, 1927.”