The role of computer-assisted handwriting systems in forensic applications
Manning, Kenneth A.
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Advances in the development of computer-assisted handwriting analysis systems have led to the consideration of those systems by courts in the United States. Computer-assisted handwriting analysis has been introduced in the context of Frye or Daubert hearings conducted to determine the admissibility of handwriting testimony by questioned document examiners, as expert witnesses in civil and criminal proceedings. This thesis provides a comparison of scientific and judicial methods, a comprehensive survey of current judicial decisions in federal courts and examines judicial concerns over reliability of traditional handwriting analysis. The National Research Council has assessed that "the scientific basis for handwriting comparisons needs to be strengthened". Recent studies of computer-assisted handwriting analysis are reviewed in light of the concerns expressed by the judiciary and National Research Council. A future potential role for computer-assisted handwriting analysis in the courts is identified.