Motion to Admit Expert Testimony on Eyewitness Identification at New York Trials

In People v. LeGrand, 8 NY3d 449, 867 N.E.2d 374, 835 N.Y.S.2d 523 (2007), the Court of Appeals set forth a two-stage inquiry to be undertaken by a court considering a motion to admit expert testimony on eyewitness identification at trial. The first stage of the inquiry involves assessing whether the case "turns on the accuracy of eyewitness identifications and there is little or no corroborating evidence connecting the defendant to the crime." (People v. LeGrand, supra, 8 NY3d at 452). If the first stage considerations are present, the court must proceed to the second stage of the inquiry, deciding whether the proposed testimony is "(1) relevant to the witness's identification of defendant, (2) based on principles that are generally accepted within the relevant scientific community, (3) proffered by a qualified expert and (4) on a topic beyond the ken of the average juror. . . ." (Id.).