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Adapting the Chumbley Score to Match Striae on Land Engraved Areas (LEAs) of Bullets

Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Published: 2019
Primary Author: Ganesh Krishnan
Secondary Authors: Heike Hofmann
Research Area: Firearms and Toolmarks

The same‐source problem remains a major challenge in forensic toolmark and firearm examination. Here, we investigate the applicability of the Chumbley method (J Forensic Sci, 2018, 63, 849; J Forensic Sci, 2010, 55, 953) (10,12), developed for screwdriver markings, for same‐source identification of striations on bullet LEAs. The Hamby datasets 44 and 252 measured by NIST and CSAFE (high‐resolution scans) are used here. We provide methods to identify parameters that minimize error rates for matching of LEAs, and a remedial algorithm to alleviate the problem of failed tests, while increasing the power of the test and reducing error rates. For 85,491 land‐to‐land comparisons (84,235 known nonmatches and 1256 known matches), the adapted test does not provide a result in 176 situations (originally more than 500). The Type I and Type II error rates are 7.2% (6105 out of 84,235) and 21.4% (271 out of 1256), respectively. This puts the proposed method on similar footing as other single‐feature matching approaches in the literature.

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