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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97900 Find in a Library
Title: Strong Negative Conclusions in Hair Comparison - A Rare Event
Journal: Canadian Society of Forensic Science  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:32-37
Author(s): B D Gaudette
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This paper examines the veracity of statements such as: 'Although one may not say that an evidence specimen of hair belongs to a particular person, one can at least assert that the hair did not come from certain other persons.'
Abstract: Two inferences are drawn from statements such as the one quoted above. First, it is never possible to make positive identifications or draw strong positive conclusions on the basis of hair comparisons. Second, eliminations occur frequently and strong negative conclusions can be readily given. To properly present evidence, a hair examiner should use a symmetrical spectrum of conclusions. These conclusions may include a strong positive (the questioned hairs originated from the same person as the known sample) or a strong negative (the questioned hairs could not have originated from the same person as the known sample). However, the great majority of hair comparisons will result in normal positive (questioned hairs are consistent with having originated from the same person as the known sample) or normal negative (questioned hairs are not consistent with having originated from the same person as the known sample). Accordingly, hair comparison evidence is generally of value only when used in conjunction with other evidence. Five tables and 11 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Crime laboratories; Forensic medicine; Forensic sciences; Hair and fiber analysis
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