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by: Ryan Scott • April 24, 2018 • no comments

Interesting legal article out of Illinois. It begins notably as follows:

There’s a new rule for ballistics experts who testify at trial.
“Take my word for it” is not enough.

Key quote:

During a December 2011 trial, state police firearms examiner Justin Barr testified that he believed the bullet recovered from the victim’s body originated from Jones’ gun.
Barr explained that experts look for “sufficient similarities” between bullets when trying to identify a match, but there is a level of subjectivity in the process.
On cross-examination, he explained firearm examiners don’t have to identify a set number of matching irregularities or scratches, nor do they have to count them in order to determine a match. He ended his testimony without identifying any individual characteristics between his test bullets and the one recovered from the victim’s body.