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State v. Saltzman, 128 So.3d 1060 (La. Ct. App. 2013)

Case (cite)
State v. Saltzman, 128 So.3d 1060 (La. Ct. App. 2013)
Year
2013
State
Louisiana
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:
Crime scene reconstruction/ballistics
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
George Schiro
Summary of reasons for ruling
Schiro testified as a crime scene reconstruction expert but also gave testimony that it was possible the victim was shot with his own gun. Defendant objected that he was not qualified to give testimony that the victim was shot with his own gun because the acutal ballistics expert the state used would not give that testimony. The court agreed that he did not qualify as a ballistics expert but held that his testimony inolved his experience investigating crime scenes, not ballistics. Further, the court held that the statement about the victim's own gun was "ambivalent" because he testified there was "no way to tell for sure without having the gun" which did not unduly prejudice the defendants. The court stated that, if anything, the testimony created a "battle of the experts" between the states own witnesses since the ballistics expert did not agree that any conclusion could be made about which gun was used.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Daubert
Did lower court hold a hearing
Y
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Schiro
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
N
Daubert ruling emphasizing – which factors – (list 1-5)
N/A
Ruling on qualifications of expert
Y
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
N
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes

This is a weird case — not necessarily about ballistics but interesting that the court admitted this testimony despite acknowledging that the witness was not an expert in ballistics and with the ballstics expert saying the same conclusion could not be made