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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70337 Find in a Library
Title: Handwriting Classification in Forensic Science
Journal: Visible Language  Volume:13  Issue:3  Dated:(1979)  Pages:239-251
Author(s): M Ansell
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Recent methods of classification of features in handwriting for use in forensic examination of documents are described in this British article.
Abstract: The Osburn approach to handwriting comparison is practiced by document examiners in the United Kingdom. It involves analysis of the physical result on paper caused by the writing process, without excursion into possible psychological or medical causes of unusual strokes or characters. A comparison of features which are believed to be relevant to differences between individuals' writing techniques is utilized to determine if writing samples of known and unknown authorship are from the same individual. Recent developments in this area include the following: (1) The Ansell and Prichard system of classification uses 18 parameters to classify normal block capital writing. When it was applied to samples from 134 writers, only three pairs of samples emerged as being indistinguishable in respect to the parameters. (2) Hensel, Khan, and Dizon considered methods for dealing with non-roman script. The document examiner approaches such a script like an 'intelligent illiterate' who uses the criminalistics techniques commonly employed with toolmarks, firearms, and footmarks to discover similarities. (3) At the Zurich Kantonspolizei Laboratory, one-paragraph samples of writing are analyzed for a large number of features and the results are entered into a computer. Comparisons with a large data bank yield other entries with varying degrees of correspondence. (4) Studies on the use of statistical methods for expressing the probability of authorship have been conducted by O.B. Livingstone; Harvey and Mitchell; Ansel and Strach; and Allan, Pearson, and Brown. Brief reviews of their techniques are included. Figures, data tables, and nine references are provided.
Index Term(s): Evidence collection; Forgery; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Handwriting analysis
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