Kulbicki v. StateAnnotate this Case
In 1995, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. In 2006, the Supreme Court determined in Clemons v. State that, under the Frye-Reed standard, Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis (CBLA) evidence was not generally accepted by the scientific community. Within a few years of his conviction, Petitioner sought post-conviction relief, arguing that the admission of “unreliable” CBLA evidence during his trial in the form of testimony from Agent Ernest Peele of the Federal Bureau of Investigation constituted a due process violation and that his attorneys provided ineffective assistance for failing adequately to cross-examine Agent Peele. The circuit judge denied relief, and the court of special appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed Petitioner’s conviction and remanded for a new trial, holding that Petitioner’s attorneys rendered ineffective assistance when they failed to investigate a report Peele co-authored in 1991 that presaged the flaws in CBLA evidence and to challenge the State’s scientific evidence on cross-examination at trial.