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State v. Williams, 974 So.2d 157 (La. Ct. App. 2008)

Case (cite)
State v. Williams, 974 So.2d 157 (La. Ct. App. 2008)
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
Richard Beighley
Summary of reasons for ruling
Defendant argued that the testimony should be excluded because the expert failed to present an errror rate of firearms identification. The court held that identifying bullets from a particular gun has a "long history" in Lousiana and had survive Doubert challenges in other jurisdictions. The court held that the expert had established the reliability of his testimony through "documentation of the process he used to reach his conclusion," and that there was nothing to to suggest the trial court should have required further information about error rates.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Second standard
Rule 702
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


“The use of expert testimony to identify spent cartridge cases or bullets to a particular firearm has a long history in Louisiana and elsewhere and has been the subject of Daubert challenges in other jurisdictions. . . . The Monteiro case discusses the available literature and evidence regarding the error rate in firearms examination and identification and observes that the extant information about examiner error is limited in its usefulness by the methodology of the studies so far conducted on that topic.”