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Sullivan v. Commonwealth, 92 Pa. 284 (Penn. 1880)

Case (cite)
Sullivan v. Commonwealth, 92 Pa. 284 (Penn. 1880)
Year
1880
State
Pennsylvania
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 identificaiton (gun powder marks)
Defense or Prosecution Expert
N/A
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Dr. Butcher
Summary of reasons for ruling
A physician was called as an expert to show the effect of powder marks where a pistol is fired at short range. Held, that his testimony, and the cloth used in his experiments, were admissible in evidence on the trial of a prisoner for murder by means of a pistol.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
N/A
Did lower court hold a hearing
N/A
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
N/A
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
N/A
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N/A
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
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
N
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes

Not clear from this opinion if Dr. Butcher’s expert testimony on “the effect of powder marks where a pistol is fired at short range” was for firearms identification, but significant that the court held that the expert testimony was “clearly competent.”