Australian forensic textile damage examinations Finding a way forward since PCAST

Sloan, K, Fergusson, S and Robertson, J 2019, 'Australian forensic textile damage examinations Finding a way forward since PCAST', Science and Justice, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 145-152.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Australian forensic textile damage examinations Finding a way forward since PCAST
Author(s) Sloan, K
Fergusson, S
Robertson, J
Year 2019
Journal name Science and Justice
Volume number 59
Issue number 2
Start page 145
End page 152
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Textile damage examinations are requested in a range of crime types such as assault, sexual assault and homicide. They typically involve the examination of clothing for damage such as cut, tear or thermal damage, often then followed by experimental scenario testing to help ascertain the cause of the damage. Understanding the underpinning science is central to the accurate interpretation of the complex mechanism of damage formation. In a stabbing incident for example, an understanding of the dynamic relationship between the knife blade, fabric and skin (or skin simulant) is critical. Recent reports, including the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report, have scrutinised forensic feature-based comparison techniques. Whilst textile damage was not a focus area, it can be considered a feature-based evidence class, and one which is currently largely reliant upon a practitioner's opinion, experience and professional judgement. This paper will review the current state of textile damage examinations in Australia and survey research being conducted to address the issues raised in the context of the PCAST report. The central contribution of observational data to the evidence class of textile damage will also be explored, as well as some practical measures to counter the effects of cognitive bias.
Subject Forensic Biology
Performance Evaluation; Testing and Simulation of Reliability
Textile Technology
Keyword(s) Forensic science
Damage analysis
Textile severance
Validity and reliability
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.scijus.2018.10.004
Copyright notice © 2018 Elsevier BV
ISSN 1355-0306
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