Skip to content

People v. Givens, 912 N.Y.S.2d 855 (Sup Ct. Bx. Slip. Op. 2010)

Case (cite)
People v. Givens, 912 N.Y.S.2d 855 (Sup Ct. Bx. Slip. Op. 2010)
Year
2010
State
New York
Type of proceeding
Trial
Type of claim
Evidentiary
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
Admitted
What was the ruling?
Other; Trial court
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Does not name the expert
Summary of reasons for ruling
Defendant argued that firearms and toolmark identification testimony should be excluded because it "is no longer gnerally accepted in the relevant scientific and legal communities.""The Court undertook an exhaustive review of the relevant case law as well as empirical data and concluded that while ballistics examinations may lack the rigor of science and may suffer from greater uncertainty than other kinds of forensic evidence, the methodology has garnered sufficient empirical support to warrant admissibility. This Court was unable to find any cases where firearms and toolmark identification was found to be unreliable or no longer scientifically acceptable. Nor were there instances where the testimony was ruled to be inadmissible. While concerns have been expressed regarding the scientific methodology of firearms and toolmark identification, when faced with the issue, Courts, such as in Willock, have typically allowed the testimony noting that the defense may certainly challenge any expert testimony through cross-examination and/ or by offering defense experts to challenge the findings of the People's expert witness."
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Frye
Did lower court hold a hearing
N/A
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Defense submitted affirmation of Adina Schwartz in support of the motion to exclude
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
NAS2009
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N
Frye Ruling
Y
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
N
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
N
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
N
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes

Court bases its analysis on relevant case law, it does not really dig deeper than that or conduct its own analysis.