#22071
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sledjockey
Bushcrafter
member8

Whirlibird….

I was just now able to get back online to respond to your last post. My phone won’t let me log in for some reason. I did want to give you some more information about the cases that you referenced. In further examination I am sure that you will see that the GSR from the handloads was the least of the issues with these cases:

Link

Link

And take a look at the citings from this case used in other cases.

Link

It was a long and annoying process, but I pulled out the following information from those links.

The ballistics expert used the same handloads in the same pistol to produce GSR from distances up to 30 inches. Other handloads from the house also showed GSR at distances up to 30 inches. There was also no searing on the skin, which meant that the pistol was fired from a distance of more than 12 inches. The pistol was also in the victim’s left hand. She was right handed. Lastly, the victim had an arm length of 27.25 inches, but with the angle and bullet path would have had to have pulled the trigger from a distance of 1.75 inches from the head. This means that ALL the forensic evidence (and not just the GSR) was used to prosecute Daniel Bias.

Now let us not forget that the victim that lived with him had displayed suicidal ideations in the past, agreed upon by the defense. Even with the increased risk of suicide, the firearm was completely accessable to her. This was one of the main factors in the prosecution persuing the murder charge.

The reasons revolving the hung juries was based upon mishandling of evidence more than any other factor. Due to the handload testing resulting in the use of most of the rounds, they could not hand over enough for the defense to fully test and possibly refute Sgt. Leisinger’s testimony. This created some reasonable doubt and was a major point for the defense. This point of contention was not his undoing, but actually kept him out of jail for murder. The prosecution finally got the conviction by saying that he pointed the pistol at the victim and pulled the trigger while not thinking that it was loaded.

When they pushed a different charge, they were finally able to convict. He also broke the conditions of his release and was charged with a 4th degree weapons charge.

Use of case during a study

Because of the CSI affect today and the distrust of prosecutors, the case only got a 42% guilty verdict during the study. The main reason was due to those taking the study disbelieving the forensics on both sides because of how the evidence was handled. This really shows how even strong forensics supporting the prosecution’s argument overshadowing GSR evidence in question. This means that the GSR presence really wasn’t that big of a factor.

In Tennesee vs. Barnes there was an evidence problem. Even Massad states, “The evidence was messed up in a number of ways in this case, and I do not believe the reloaded ammo (which the prosecution did not recognize to be such until during the trial) was the key problem, but it definitely was part of a problem in reconstructing the case.” There are all sorts of problems with cases, but good record keeping (which is necessary for any reloader) and using standard loads would remove this as an issue from the court case if it even went that far.

In the other two cases, they involved LEO’s and liability. To potentially mitigate this liability the departments and brotherhood of blue really have pushed the use of factory loads. Again, the important point is that the department was getting sued (probably whether they were hand loads or factory) and it was not an individual in a self defense situation.

So in summary….. Whirlibird. You are correct. We will have to respectfully disagree on this point.

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