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Evidential Value of Transfer Evidences: A Hit-and -Run Accident

NCJ Number
Problems of Forensic Sciences Volume: 73 Dated: 2008 Pages: 70-81
Grzegorz Zadora; Beata M. Trzcinska
Date Published
12 pages
This paper presents casework of a hit-and-run accident to illustrate the evidential value of transfer evidences.
This hit-and-run casework presentation illustrates that thinking in terms of likelihood ratios allows a forensic expert to make a decision about how many types of evidence should be analyzed in order to satisfy the administration of justice. The likelihood ratio approach (LR) has great merits. The approach can be used to draw conclusions about the evidential value of a combination of different kinds of forensic evidence. The LR approach provided extremely strong support for a hypothesis that traces of paint, glass, plastic and fibers recovered from a victim’s clothes originated from the suspected car, which should effectively enable the judge to issue a correct verdict. An analysis of traffic accidents reveals that some involve fleeing of the driver from the accident scene, such as hit-and-run accidents. In order to find a car which could have taken part in a hit-and-run accident, it has very often been necessary to analyze transfer evidence in the form of paint, glass, and plastic fragments which can be recovered from the victims’ clothes. In order to evaluate the evidence value of analyzed material, it is best to apply the LR approach. This compares the probability that given samples originate from the same object with the probability that they originate from different objects. In this paper, the usefulness of the LR framework as a basis for thinking and reaching conclusions about evidence values is presented on the basis of casework in which a pedestrian was hit by a car which fled from the accident scene. The pedestrian died and the suspected car was found some hours after the accident and suitable control samples were collected. Table, figures, and references


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