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Lewis v. State, 2014 WL 7204708 (Ct. App. Tex. 2014)

Case (cite)
Lewis v. State, 2014 WL 7204708 (Ct. App. Tex. 2014)
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
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
James Jeffress
Summary of reasons for ruling
Appellant argues that the expert was not reliable because he had never testified about this specific type of toolmark before (magazines), could not recreate marks since the gun was never recovered, his procedures were controlled by investigators, and the articles submitted to trial court were not admitted into evidence so there was no evidence supporting his expert opinion. The court disagreed with all arguments. First, the court holds that the expert has sufficient experience in firearms identification and has done this type of identification at least 5 times, has published papers, and is sufficently educated and trained. Second, the court notes that the expert explained that it is unnecessary to have the recovered firearm in order to conclude that the bullets came from the same, unkown firearm. Third, the court holds that additional testing despite the investigator's statement that only one test bullet was necessary would not have had any impact on the expert's conclusion about the first cartridge. Finally, the court says that failing to admit the articles into evidence after submitting them to the court and being cross-examined on their contents was not enough to tip the scales away from reliability. The court distinguishes this case from Sexton by explaining that here, the expert submitted his testimony and powerpoint and thoroughly explained his conclusions compared to Sexton, where a treatise was submitted refuting the expert's asseretions.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Second standard
Rule 702
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