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Pilley v. State, 25 So.2d 57 (Ala. 1946)

Case (cite)
Pilley v. State, 25 So.2d 57 (Ala. 1946)
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
C.D. Brooks
Summary of reasons for ruling
No reasoning, just cite to Redus v. State and Vernon v. State
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).
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


“A witness for the State, C. D. Brooks, of the State Department of Toxicology, was properly qualified as an expert in the science of ballistics. He testified that he had made examinations of the bullet which had been removed from the body of the deceased and of the pistol which had been identified as having been in the possession of appellant a short time prior to the date of the homicide, and which had been admitted in evidence; that he had also made an examination of bullets which he had himself fired from the pistol, and had compared those bullets with the one which had been removed from the body of deceased. Further testifying, this witness said: That from the tests, comparisons and experiments that he had conducted he could not say that the bullet which had been removed from Goatley’s body was fired from the particular pistol alleged to have been used by appellant in the perpetration of the homicide, but that it could have been so fired; that it was fired from a gun of that type with similar rifling; that there was nothing to indicate, or that could tend to indicate, that it had not been fired from the particular pistol. In the introduction of this evidence there was no error. Vernon v. State, supra; Redus v. State, 243 Ala. 320, 9 So.2d 914.”