Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

4-2019

Journal or Book Title

Forensic Science International

Volume

297

First Page

236

Last Page

242

DOI

10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.01.048

Abstract

Emerging research documents the ways in which task-irrelevant contextual information may influence the opinions and decisions that forensic analysts reach regarding evidence (e.g., Dror and Cole, 2010; National Academy of Sciences, 2009; President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2016). Consequently, authorities have called for forensic analysts to rely solely on task-relevant information—and to actively avoid task-irrelevant information—when conducting analyses (National Commission on Forensic Science, 2015). In this study, we examined 97 evidence submission forms, used by 148 accredited crime laboratories across the United States, to determine what types of information laboratories solicit when performing latent print analyses. Results indicate that many laboratories request information with no direct relevance to the specific task of latent print comparison. More concerning, approximately one in six forms (16.5%) request information that appears to have a high potential for bias without any discernible relevance to latent print comparison. Solicitations for task-irrelevant information may carry meaningful consequences and current findings inform strategies to reduce the potential for cognitive bias.

Comments

This is a manuscript of an article published as Gardner, Brett O., Sharon Kelley, Daniel C. Murrie, and Kellyn N. Blaisdell. "Do evidence submission forms expose latent print examiners to task-irrelevant information?." Forensic science international 297 (2019): 236-242. Posted with permission of CSAFE.

Copyright Owner

Elsevier B.V.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version

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