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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)
New York
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
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)
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).
Defense submitted affirmation of Adina Schwartz in support of the motion to exclude
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


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