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Jackson v. Vannoy, 2018 WL 1441154 (E.D. La. 2018)

Case (cite)
Jackson v. Vannoy, 2018 WL 1441154 (E.D. La. 2018)
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Ineffective assistance of counsel
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Kenneth Leary
Summary of reasons for ruling
Defendant argues ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to "investigate and present impeachment evidence" against the expert and failed to effectively confront the expert. The court states that he did not identify any specific testimony that should have been impeached, or any relevant questions counsel failed to ask. The court notes counsel's thorough cross-examination that resulted in a lot of testimony hurting the expert and that Jackson was not prejudiced by his counsel. Defendant does not suggest any other line of questioning that could have been pursued.
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


“Defense counsel made numerous objections throughout both direct and re-direct examination. On cross-examination, defense counsel actively challenged Leary’s qualifications and pointed out deficiencies in Leary’s report. Defense counsel was able to elicit admissions from Leary that he had no independent recollection of the testing, he was not a member of the only national professional organization for firearms examiners, and that the lab was unaccredited. Leary also admitted that his report did not include any description of markings on the bullets, shell casings, or the test fire bullet, and that he did not test any of the bullets recovered from the autopsy.”




NOTE: It seems like the defense was able to uncover a lot of problematic testimony from the expert but that the expert’s testimony was still admitted. I can’t find the trial court opinion, however.