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State v. Burney, 143 S.W.2d 273 (Missouri 1940)

Case (cite)
State v. Burney, 143 S.W.2d 273 (Missouri 1940)
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
Summary of reasons for ruling
The introduction of the state's ballistics evidence was proper both by reasons of circumstantial evidence and corpus delicti.
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


Colorful reprimand of plaintiff’s counsel: Her counsel asserts in his brief that the bullet submitted by the prosecutor’s office to Sergeant Koch of the State Highway Patrol for ballistic tests was not the one found in the Stacey house and exhibited at the preliminary but another which would pass such tests. The statement in the brief is: “Only the rankest unsophistication would suppose he (Koch) was furnished an object over which any doubt could arise.” Grave charges such as this should not be made lightly. Counsel may sometimes be excused for statements uttered in the hurry and heat of oral argument, when the same statements made cooly and deliberately in a formal brief to this court should be scrutinized with less indulgence. Either the prosecutor’s office committed a grevious wrong, or appellant’s counsel has transgressed the bounds of legitimate argument in charging that office framed the case by substituting a bullet which would pass ballistic tests. The jury found against that argument. We think the evidence made a case for the jury.