The Fallacy of Forensic Uniqueness in Ballistics gets dented in DC


So, here is a DC judge calling out the VERY popular bullet casing matching process promulgated by the FBI around the US for decades. The theory of a striker or a firing pin leaving a toolmark which is identifiable to only one weapon sounds to be a repeat of other matching methods adopted by police labs for courtrooms. During their history the use of the “uniqueness” descriptive was their claim to fame. Such as…..

hair, bullets’ lead composition, graphology (handwriting), bitemarks,

All have been classified as unreliable by the FBI itself or the National Academy of Sciences in recent years. Casing matches has been highly automated to a certain extent via multiple software programs developed by and for law enforcement. More recently its being called “bullet fingerprinting.”

More about bullet casings…….A Flop

An early (2001) article talking about a study that tested some of the bullet matchers in California. It talks about a coverup.


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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