I was recently required to come testify on an old case I worked for a local police department a number of years ago. The actual work I performed was hardly a “case breaker”.
I simply looked at casings and projectiles recovered by police and inter-compared them, so see if they were fired from the same gun. No firearm was actually recovered in the case.
What I was actually wanted for was the state wanted me to perform an “on the stand shooting reconstruction”. That is with little to no warning, an attorney is going to ask you to determine which person in a vehicle based on if the casings were recovered outside, or inside the vehicle.
Something that pretty much can’t be done without a lot of experimentation. Even then the results would probably not be conclusive, but rather more strongly suggest one person over the other.
Considering in this case the actual firearm/ammunition combination used in the shooting was never recovered, it just simply isn’t something that could be done with any certainty.
Then the defense attorney took to cross-examining me. They used that most brilliant of cross-examination styles — to completely go back over everything the prosecution did, almost word for word, point by point.
There is nothing like reinforcing the prosecutions case, by getting the exact same answers to the exact same questions back to back to drive the points home to the jury.
The best part about the case was being contacted by the defense after trial to find out about a database of general rifling characteristics I used to base my opinion as to what possible guns could have fired the bullets/casings. Apparently their expert said he didn’t have access to such database.
No related posts.