September 28, 2007
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ) Appeal from the
) Circuit Court of
Plaintiff-Appellee, ) Cook County.
WALTER ALLEN, ) Honorable
) Daniel P. Darcy,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:
Social scientists have been conducting research into the
ability of one human being to identify another. Whether such an
expert should be allowed to testify in a criminal case is a
matter of broad discretion for the trial court. In light of the
specific circumstances of this case, we hold reversible error was
committed when the trial court refused to allow an expert to
testify. We reverse the defendant’s conviction and remand for a
This was a jury trial. The defendant, Walter Allen, was
convicted of attempt murder, attempt armed robbery, and
aggravated battery with a firearm. He was sentenced to a total
of 43 years in prison.
In addition to the rejection of his expert witness,
defendant raises fourth amendment and due process issues that