The Current State of Bullet-Lead Evidence

16 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2006

See all articles by David H. Kaye

David H. Kaye

PSU - Penn State Law (University Park); ASU - College of Law & School of Life Sciences


This article describes recent opinions on the admissibility of bullet-lead evidence. In 2004, the National Research Council released a report identifying certain problems with this type of evidence and making recommendations for improvements in the analytical procedure, the interpretation of a match among bullet fragments, and the presentation of the laboratory findings in court. In response, the FBI has stopped performing the procedure, and it appears that in any retrials involving previous testimony, the courts will view the past testimony of FBI examiners more skeptically. Even if the testimony were as circumspect as called for in the NRC report, however, it might not have sufficient value to the jury to warrant its admission.

Keywords: scientific evidence, Daubert, bullet-lead, likelihood ratio, probative value

Suggested Citation

Kaye, David H., The Current State of Bullet-Lead Evidence. Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology, Vol. 46, pp. 99-114, 2006, Available at SSRN:

David H. Kaye (Contact Author)

PSU - Penn State Law (University Park)

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States


ASU - College of Law & School of Life Sciences ( email )

111 E Taylor St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States


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