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Northern v. State, 467 S.W.3d 755 (Ark. Ct. App. 2015)

Case (cite)
Northern v. State, 467 S.W.3d 755 (Ark. Ct. App. 2015)
Year
2015
State
Arkansas
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
James R. Looney
Summary of reasons for ruling
"Looney's testimony established that he had received extensive training and education in firearm and toolmark examinations and also had vast experience in conducting these examinations. Further, Looney testified that firearm and toolmark science has been studied and tested numerous times; it has been in existence for many years and is a well-recognized and generally accepted science; there have been multiple peer-review journals published on the topic; and a low rate of error has been established after much testing. Looney also explained that standards and guidelines have been established in order to control the technique. This testimony establishes reliability of the science well beyond “guesswork,” as argued by Northern."
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Daubert; Ark. 702
Did lower court hold a hearing
Y
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Looney
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N
Discussion of error rates / reliability
Y (very brief acknowledgement that expert testified to low error rate)
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)
(1);(2);(3);(4);(5)
Ruling on qualifications of expert
Y
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
Y
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
Y
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes

Not much actual analysis. The court just summarizes what the expert said to satisfy the Daubert factors and stated that this testimony was sufficient for the lower court to admit without abusing its descretion.