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United States v. Bowers, 534 F.2d 186 (9th Cir. 1976)

Case (cite)
United States v. Bowers, 534 F.2d 186 (9th Cir. 1976)
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
Does not say
Summary of reasons for ruling
Appellant argues that there was no showing that toolmark identification was "generally accepted as sufficiently reliable to justify admission of expert testimony." The court disagreed and held that the record was sufficient for a finding that toolmark identification was reliable and generally accepted. The court explains that whether toolmark identification was applied reliably in this case was a subject for cross.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Second standard
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
Y (but not under 702)
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case


FN 7 where the court explains that the record is sufficent to support a finding that the testimony was reliable: “The trial court has a wide discretion in determining whether particular scientific tests are sufficiently reliable to permit expert testimony based upon their results (United States v. Franks, 511 F.2d 25, 33 (6th Cir. 1975); United States v. Stifel, 433 F.2d 431, 438 (6th Cir. 1970)), and whether the probative value of such testimony will exceed its prejudicial effect (United States v. Amaral, 488 F.2d 1148, 1152 (9th Cir. 1973)).”