Skip to content

State v. Langlois, 2 N.E.3d 936 (Ohio Ct. App 2013)

Case (cite)
State v. Langlois, 2 N.E.3d 936 (Ohio Ct. App 2013)
Year
2013
State
Ohio
Type of proceeding
Appellate
Type of claim
Evidentiary; Ineffective assistance of counsel
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
Admitted
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
David Cogan, Todd Wharton
Summary of reasons for ruling
The courts in Ohio continues to recognize firearms identification techniques as reliable (can be admitted without Daubert hearing) despite the recent challenges it faced in some federal courts. Because there was no need for a Daubert hearing, there was no ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to request the hearing.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Daubert; 702
Did lower court hold a hearing
N
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) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N
Frye Ruling
N
Limiting testimony ruling
N
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
N/A
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
Y
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
Y
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes

on error rate: “While acknowledging that the results of such tests do not have an established potential rate of error, hetestified that numerous studies have confirmed the accuracy of the techniques that formed the basis for his conclusions. He cited one study conducted over a ten year period that involved over 500 firearms examiners. Consecutively manufactuered firearms barrels were examined for distinguishing tool marks left on projectiles and ‘7500 correct conclusions’ were reached. ‘There was no false positives,’ he stated, ‘which means no one accidentally attributed a projectile to the wrong barrel.’ . . . similar studies analyzing the markings on fired shell cases have been published as well”

 

“Notably, [the defendant] offered no contrary testimony to refute the state’s ballistics experts. . . . He presented no credibloe challenge to the underlying physical or scientifictheory of how marks are transferred from a firearm to the primary components of a cartridge, nor to the methodology of identifying a match betwwen a particular gun and a shell case found at the crime scene.”

 

on reliability: Both experts used widely-accepted and accurate microscopic methods for observing minute striations and primer cup indentations on the cases being examined. . . . Such microscopic comparison testing is a generally accepted method of forensic analysis. . . .Our conclusion on this issue finds support in the decisions of other appellate districts in Ohio, notwithstanding the recent criticisms in scientific reports and the limitations some federal courts have imposed on th testimony of firearms experts. These decisions hold taht the methodology of comparatively analyzing and testing bullets and shell cases revovered from crime scenes is reliable.