Determining the Authenticity of Questioned Documents, Essay Example
The Seven Steps to Prevent Conscious Writing:
Allow writer to sit comfortably at a desk, free of distractions
Do not show the questioned Document to the writer
Provide writer with pen and paper that are similar to those used in the questioned document
Dictate a test that includes the same content as that in the questioned document, such as the same words and phrases. The writer should not be given any indication about letter casing
Dictate the text at least three times; repetition will expose efforts by the writer to alter his or her own writing
Collect signature exemplars while collecting writing exemplas; for example, have writer fill out and sign a series of checks
Before testing the writer, have questioned documents examined by a document examiner
Alterations, Erasures, and Obliterations
Questioned documents may show evidence of tampering:
Text may be erased with a rubber eraser or by the use of a chemical agent.
Text may be altered in an effort to change its intent, such as alterations to a will or a check
Text may be blotted out, smeared, written over, or otherwise obscured to hide the content
In some cases Infrared Luminescence may be used to accentuate the visibility of text that has been obliterated with a different ink. An Infrared Electronic Converter can distinguish among different inks, which may be helpful in detecting alterations on a questioned document.
Infrared (IR) Luminescence can also be used to highlight text on a charred document.
Microscopy and the use of IR or Ultraviolet (UV) lighting can help to detect if text has been chemically erased. In some cases, the application of certain solutions or chemicals can be used to restore the remnants of chemically-erased text to visibility
Photocopiers and Printers
Photocopiers and printers use a variety of different methods to create text images on paper. These techniques, as well as the mechanical operation of these devices, can provide insight into the origin an authenticity of questioned documents
Photocopiers generally use a drum bathed in toner to transfer text to the page. After the page is printed, mechanical grabbers pull the paper through the photocopier. The chemical composition of the toner, as well as the marks made by the grabbers, can be used to identify if a questioned document was created by the copier. Other factors, such as scratches on the glass surface of the copier, can leave identifying artifacts on copies, making it easier to correlate a document to a copier.
There are several primary types of printers: the most common are inkjet printers and laser printers; there are also printers that use a dot-matrix system or thermal imaging to print text and images onto documents. As in the case of photocopiers, these devices use techniques, ink types, and other methods that can help identify whether a questioned document originated with an individual printer.
Levinson, Jay. Questioned Documents: A Lawyers Handbook. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 2001.
PPT: Questioned Documents. www.centralia.edu/academics/forensicscience/…/NQD.ppt
Time is precious
don’t waste it!