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Guidelines for Forensic Document Examination, Part 5, by SWGDOC (Forensic Science Communications, April 2000)

Guidelines for Forensic Document Examination, Part 5, by SWGDOC (Forensic Science Communications, April 2000)

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Masthead - Forensic Science Communications
April 2000   Volume 2   Number 2

Guidelines for Forensic Document Examination

 

Part 5

 

 

Scientific Working Group for Forensic
Document Examination (SWGDOC)

 

Revised January 2000

Read about …

Introduction
Guidelines:
Examination of Handwritten Items
Examination of Exclusively
Questioned Handwritten Items
Examination of Nonoriginal
Handwritten Items
Examination of Handwritten Items
Having a Distorted Appearance
Safe Handling of Contaminated Document Evidence and the Preservation of Associated Trace Evidence
Discussion of the Guideline
for the Safe Handling of Contaminated Document Evidence and the Preservation of Associated Trace Evidence
Quality Assurance and
Proficiency Testing
Comments
Acknowledgments

Guideline for the
Examination of Handwritten Items Having a Distorted Appearance

1. Purpose
To determine whether or not handwritten items, one or more having a distorted appearance, are suitable for comparison.

2. Introduction
2.1.
This Guideline will be used as a continuation of the Guideline for the Examination of Handwritten Items, the Guideline for the Examination of Nonoriginal Handwritten Items, and the Guideline for the Examination of Exclusively Questioned Handwritten Items.

2.2. Terms defined in the glossary are in italics when they first appear in the Guideline.

2.3. A flowchart for this Guideline is in Appendix D.

3. Requirements
That the forensic document examiner will have the following available:

3.1. A light source of sufficient intensity to distinguish fine detail.

3.2. An optical instrument capable of sufficient magnification to distinguish fine detail.

3.3. Sufficient time to complete the procedures of this Guideline.

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4. Procedures
4.1.
Evaluate the apparent distortion in the writing. If appropriate, a comparison to other available writing may be made.

4.2. Determine whether or not it is possible to establish that the apparently distorted writing is natural writing.

4.2.1. If it is possible, and

4.2.1.1. It is natural writing, return to the
referring Guideline, or

4.2.1.2. It is not natural writing, proceed
to Section 4.3 in this Guideline, and continue.

4.2.2. If it is not possible, continue with this procedure.

4.3. Determine whether the apparently distorted writing is suitable for comparison. If it is, return to the referring Guideline. If it is not, continue with this Guideline.

4.4. Determine whether additional known writing would be of assistance.

4.4.1. If it would, request additional known writing.

4.4.1.1. If additional known writing is received, return to the referring Guideline and continue.

4.4.1.2. If additional known writing is not received, go to No Conclusion, Section 5.5 of the referring Guideline.

4.4.2. If not of assistance, go to No Conclusion, Section 5.5 of the referring Guideline.

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5. Glossary
Natural Writing: Any specimen of writing without an attempt to control or alter its usual quality of execution.

Appendix D

The flowchart for the Guideline for the Examination of Handwritten Items Having a Distorted Appearance is in PDF format. To view this file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader

View flowchart

Comments

Comments and questions concerning the Guideline for the Examination of Handwritten Items Having a Distorted Appearance may be forwarded to Susan Morton at magnolia@worldspy.net

Readers may also respond via a document comments form.

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FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS     APRIL 2000   VOLUME 2   NUMBER 2

 

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