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The NAS Report at Trial


Is the controversial National Academy of Sciences report "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward," a "learned treatise" that the defense can use to cross-examine the prosecution's fingerprint expert under FRE 803(18)?

No, said the D.C. Court of Appeals in Gee v. United States.

A jury found appellant Rashaun Gee guilty of first-degree burglary while armed (knife), assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed, malicious disfigurement while armed, and attempted first-degree sexual abuse while armed, all in connection with an attack on victim Rachel Moretta.

The evidence included his fingerprints on the kitchen window (where he entered) and a T-shirt with his skin cells on the collar and blood stains from the victim, both matched by DNA.  The trial court rejected the defense's attempt to discredit fingerprint matching with the NAS report, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Zoe Tillman has this report at BLT.

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