The Locard Fallacy: “Unique” impression evidence fails statistical tests once again : Ballistics

Considering that the Innocence Projects database (almost 350) of DNA exonerations shows a 46% contribution from unvalidated or faulty forensic testimony, this featured article focuses on bullet “matching” and by association extends to tires and bite marks. From my last post, footprint evidence has its own experts leaping at conclusions similarly skewed in numerous cases. Most all stem from the false belief (myth?) of uniqueness being a strong possibility existing in material transferred as trace impression evidence. This might be called the “Locard Fallacy.” (I just made that up. Locard never spoke of “uniqueness.” I’m probably not being original.) Here is an extensive review of Locard by Jerry Chisum and Brent Turvey  from 2000.

From Science (AAAS)

Reversing the Legacy of Junk Science in the Courtroom

 

About csidds

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