Much of forensic laboratory work is based on comparison of evidence from a crime scene with analogous material associated with a suspect. DNA samples and fingerprints are well-known examples, but physical evidence also includes such items as tire and shoe prints, and bullet metal components. There is current concern in the legal system about the degree of objectivity that can be claimed by current forensic comparison practices. In this talk, we discuss some research aimed at providing statistically-based methods for use in making objective forensic comparisons for one important class of physical evidence, striated toolmarks.
Joint work with: Scott Chumbley, David Faden, Amy Lock, and Jeremy Hadler.