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State v. Foshay, 370 P.3d 618 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2016)

Case (cite)
State v. Foshay, 370 P.3d 618 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2016)
Year
2016
State
Arizona
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 (with 3D confocal microscopy)
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Rocky Edwards
Summary of reasons for ruling
because the 3-D imaging and confocal microscope merely enabled the expert to better see the marks which were the basis of his analysis and no evidence indicated that the software and microscope somehow manipulated the image to allow a match between bullets where none existed. Any issues concerning the use of 3D imaging were proper subject for cross-examination but did not prevent admission of the evidence.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Daubert; Az. 702
Did lower court hold a hearing
Y
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Edwards
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N/A
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N/A
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)
all factors - but very briefly
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
Y
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
Y

Notes

Defendant in this case specifically challenged the use of a 3-D imaging software program in firearms identification process. But since the trial court found and appellate court agreed that “using this 3-D confocal microscopy is just a new tool to utilize the same principles” and that the expert showed a working knowledge of how this technology functioned; it is as admissible as any firearms identification testimony under a more traditional technique – also this new tech was used as a supplement not the supstitution of the traditional methods.