Peer-Reviewed News

This information has been subjected to peer review and has been published in a recognized journal or periodical. This information contains relevant cites that pertain to footwear, tire or barefoot impression evidence. Other peer-reviewed information that may be indirectly related to the aforementioned forensic disciplines (e.g., legal or enhancement techniques), may also be posted here.

Evaluating High Dynamic Range (HDR) Processing with Regards to the Presence of Individualizing Characteristics in Shoeprint Impressions

In 2010, NIJ awarded a grant (#2010-DN-BX-K038) to Forensic Scientist Kristin Rogahn (Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Forensic Sciences Laboratory) in the area of Forensic Science Research and Development, specifically Crime Scene Investigation. Refer to the information below for details of this research. Kristin's report has been published online and can be downloaded from NIJ's website using the link below.

ABSTRACT

Difficult lighting situations that lead to challenging photographic conditions are common at crime scenes. It is imperative that the photographer accurately documents the scene details despite vast differences between the brightest areas and the darkest shadows. High Dynamic Range (HDR), unlike painting with light, is a method for processing a series of photographs into one image that captures the fullest range of highlights and shadows present in the original impression. HDR is a method used to increase the span between shadows and highlights in an image by taking more than one picture of the same scene – shots that maximize shadows, maximize mid-tones, and maximize highlights – and then merging them into one unified picture with tremendous tonal range. This research found that HDR processing of multiple images does not produce a significant increase in detailed information compared with viewing the same images in Photoshop. However, exposure (auto)bracketing increases the ability to capture more detailed images of footwear impressions than a single image alone, and allows the use of HDR software for rapid processing and comparison.

Additional Publications Regarding the R v T Decision

Graham Jackson of AdvanceForensicScience.com and co-author of Evidence Evaluation: A Response to the Court of Appeal Judgment in R v T (Science & Justice, 2011) provided SWGTREAD with some additional references related to the R v T decision regarding the admissibility of footwear impression evidence in court. Refer to the following cites for more peer-reviewed and published information on this decision:

Berger, C.E.H., Buckleton, J., Champod, C., Evett, I.W. and Jackson G. ‘Evidence Evaluation: A Response to the Court of Appeal Judgment in R v T’. Science & Justice,2011, 51: 43–49.

Redmayne, M., Roberts, P., Aitken, C.G.G. and Jackson, G. ‘Forensic Science Evidence in Question’. Criminal Law Review, 2011, 348-356.

Robertson, B., Vignaux, G.A. and Berger, C.E.H.  ‘Extending the confusion about Bayes’. The Modern Law Review, 2011, 74(3): 430-455.

Morrison, G., S. ‘The likelihood-ratio framework and forensic evidence in court: A response to R v T‘.  International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 2012, 16: 1-29.

The Development of a Wireless Electrostatic Mark Lifting Method and its use at Crime Scenes

Milne, R. The Development of a Wireless Electrostatic Mark Lifting Method and its use at Crime Scenes. Journal of Forensic Identification, 62 (2), pp. 154-164. March/April 2012.

ABSTRACT

This paper outlines the basic principles and practices involved in a technique of electrostatic dust mark lifting (ESL). Details are included about the development of a three-electrode wireless method used in some currently available commercial devices.

Determining the Significance of Outsole Wear Characteristics During the Forensic Examination of Footwear Impression Evidence

Bodziak, W, Hammer, L., Johnson, G. M. and Schenck, R. Determining the Significance of Outsole Wear Characteristics During the Forensic Examination of Footwear Impression Evidence. Journal of Forensic Identification, 62 (3), pp. 254-278. May/June 2012.

ABSTRACT

This paper will define terms used in the forensic footwear examination and comparison of outsole wear, summarize past research in the area of wear, and discuss the various considerations that should be taken into account when evaluating general wear in casework comparisons. Considerations include factors that limit clarity of the impression, manufactured characteristics, and time intervals between when the impression was deposited and when the shoes were seized. A variety of general wear is encountered in footwear casework and can be used to limit the population of shoes that could have made the impression. However, general wear may appear similar on shoes of the same person and between shoes belonging to different people and therefore general wear alone should no be used to identify a shoe as the particular source of an impression. A survey conducted as part of this project indicates that general wear is not used to individualize footwear impressions by the international community of footwear examiners.