CRIM 355

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  1. Examination includes
    • Handwriting and handprinting comparisons
    • Examination of means, media and materials used to produce a document
    • Documents that have been altered
  2. Training for QD
    • Before accepted :
    • B.Sc. (Hons.) Chemistry
    • Word blindness and dexterity tests
    • Civilian
    • Two and a half years of understudy (longest in lab)
  3. Graphology?
    • Graphology is NOT QD
    • Graphology is determining personality from handwriting
    • Similar to reading palms and fortune telling
    • No science!
    • Caution in court
    • Majority of job
    • Handwriting is unique if:
    • Reasonable amount of writing
    • Executed freely and fluently
  5. Development of Handwriting
    • Child:
    • Copies alphabet, teacher, book, parent
    • Repetition – very careful
    • Whole words, then sentences
    • Focus shifts from the act of writing to contents of writing

    • Adult:
    • Writing is a semi-conscious habit
    • Habits very hard to change or disguise
  6. Class characteristics of Hand Writing
    • Copy book – all letters the same, so children all learn from same style
    • All children from one Grade 1 teacher will learn their style
    • Variations between countries
    • Professional class characteristics
    • Teenage girls in N. Am. – bubble writing
    • Vision impaired?
  7. Individual Characteristics
    • Every person has an individual perception of different images
    • Each person has individual physical makeup – dexterity
    • Uncorrected errors become habit
    • Child incorporates writing features from people of influence in their lives
    • Combined, the above make handwriting unique
  8. Natural Variation
    • Usual and normal deviations that occur within repeated specimens of a person’s handwriting
    • E.g. signature – no two ever the same
    • If signatures identical - fraud
  9. Handwriting comparisons
    • Science based on COMPARISON
    • Must have original document AND
    • Examples of suspect’s handwriting – called comparison samples
  10. Comparison Samples
    • Collected – normal writing during everyday life:
    • Shopping lists
    • Letters,
    • Diaries
    • Cancelled cheques
    • Requested:
    • Obtained under warrant
    • At police station, under police supervision

    Ideally, mix of both
  11. Collected Samples (advantages and disadvantages)
    • Advantages:
    • Naturally written, unlikely to be disguised
    • Includes broad range of natural variation
    • Time of writing can be duplicated

    • Disadvantages
    • Difficult to prove authorship
    • Unlikely to contain same text as QD
  12. Requested Samples (advantages and disadvantages)
    • Advantages:
    • Authorship not in dispute, witnessed
    • QD text can be duplicated
    • Quality and style can be duplicated

    • Disadvantages:
    • Writer may try to disguise writing
    • Restricted range of natural variation
    • May not be natural – nervousness
    • Writing may not be contemporary
  13. Obtaining Requested Samples
    • Dictate – rapidly, adjusting speed
    • Do not include punctuation
    • Must not see original
    • Seated comfortably (or as for QD)
    • Duplicate writing instrument and material
    • Repeat text, para X3, signature X15
    • Remove each specimen after written
    • Text must include all words, numbers of QD
    • Duplicate size of QD
    • Duplicate style of QD – e.g. letter
    • If printed, ensure upper and lower case both used
  14. Canada Letter
    • May not want suspect to know contents of QD
    • Use Canada letter
    • Set letter – changed for each case to include all words, letters and numbers of QD
  15. Comparison
    • Requires original QD
    • Class Characteristics
    • Individual Characteristics
    • slope of letters, angularity, proportions, speed of the writing, the pen pressure at different points in a letter, which letters are joined and which are not, pen stops, or lifts, pen gooping, word spacing, relative dimensions of letters, connections between letters, pen movement, writing skill and finger dexterity
  16. Authorship
    • Admission
    • Witness
    • Identification by someone familiar with writing
    • Any means court deems acceptable
  17. Opinions
    •  ositive identificationample and QD written by same person Strong probability Weak probability Can neither identify nor eliminate Negative Prove that someone else wrote document Writing quality is better than that which suspect is capable
    • Sample and QD written by same person
    • Strong probability
    • Weak probability
    • Can neither identify nor eliminate
    • Negative:
    • Prove that someone else wrote document
    • Writing quality is better than that which suspect is capable
  18. Factors which affect hand writing comparisons
    • Must compare like to like e.g. hand writing to hand writing, printing to printing
    • Contemporary – writing changes over time
  19. Outside Influences on hand writing
    • Drugs or alcohol
    • Extreme emotion
    • Type of writing instrument and surface
    • Writing position
    • Illness, physical challenge
  20. Disguise - Attempt to change own handwriting habits to avoid detection
    • Simple
    • Not fluent
    • Change is rarely consistent
    • Altered letter design
    • Internal consistency disrupted
    • Never original – several basic types
    • Lapses back into own style
    • Certain features never disguised
  21. Simulation - Attempt to emulate handwriting habits of someone else
    • Poorer than original
    • Misinterpretation of strokes
    • Heavy pen pressure
    • Irregular pen movements
    • Touch-ups
    • Inaccurate ratios and proportions of letters
    • Torn paper/foil/plastic
    • Water soaked documents
    • Charred documents – IR, UV light, burn more!
    • Altered/erased – IR, UV light, white-out®, computer
    • Latent impressions
    Typewriters, photocopiers, computer printers, rubber stamps, graphic arts used to make currency, lotto tickets etc.

    • Characteristics:
    • Class characteristics - make and model of machine
    • E.g. font size, design, pitch, shape

    • Innate characteristics – characteristic which is common to a group, but not all in group
    • E.g. dirt in mould for manufacture of 10 printers
    • Individual characteristics - actual machine
    • E.g. Damage to a key

    • Photocopiers:
    • Documents-make and model of machine
    • Actual machine identified by trash marks, picker marks, damage
    • New models – leave identifying mark
    • Number of copies since QD
    • Currency? Will shut down

    • Typewriters:
    • Old ribbons – could read writing directly
    • Newer ribbons – moves up and down, can still be read
Card Set:
CRIM 355
2016-04-14 00:11:56
Questioned Documents

Any object which contains signs, symbols or marks either visible, partially visible or invisible, which convey a meaning to someone Document
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