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Kelly v. Commonwealth, 86 S.W.2d 695 (Ct. App. Ky. 1935)

Case (cite)
Kelly v. Commonwealth, 86 S.W.2d 695 (Ct. App. Ky. 1935)
Year
1935
State
Kentucky
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
John Hickey
Summary of reasons for ruling
Defendant argued that the expert's testimony should not have been admitted because they failed to produce the gun that fired the bullet. The court held that the testimony was was admissible because "In the light of the modern science of ballistics, it is probable that it could have been demonstrated almost to a certainty which of these weapons had been used."
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
Y
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Hickey
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N/A
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
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

Notes

“The verdict depended principally upon whether the jury should believe the defendant’s or Sizemore’s testimony. So it became extremely important as to which of these two weapons had been used in firing the bullet which killed Lewis. We need not determine whether it was error to admit in evidence a pistol identified only as being similar to the Sizemore pistol, which could and should have been produced on the trial, but when it was shown on the motion for a new trial that the Sizemore pistol was different in a material respect and was capable of shooting a bullet of the character and size which killed Lewis, the new evidence was of sufficient *697 importance to require the trial court to grant the defendant another trial. In the light of the modern science of ballistics, it is probable that it could have been demonstrated almost to a certainty which of these weapons had been used. See Evans v. Commonwealth, 230 Ky. 411, 19 S. W. (2d) 1091, 66 A. L. R. 360.”