Methodology in Forensic Sciences

A proposed ASTM International standard will outline the methodology used when an unknown item is introduced into a forensic examination. ASTM’s forensic sciences committee (E30) is now reviewing the proposed standard (WK72441), which was initially developed by a subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Sciences.

The proposed standard covers ACE-V, or the analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification method. ACE-V is used by forensic practitioners when conducting feature comparisons, such as friction ridge, image, and footwear analysis. 

“The application of this methodology begins when an unknown item is introduced into the forensic process with the objective of identifying the specific type or possible source of the unknown item, and is complete when a verified conclusion is determined,” says ASTM International member Julie Carnes, forensic examiner and quality manager, Target Forensic Service Laboratory. “This guide will establish a framework to govern standardized methods used to conduct the various phases of ACE-V methodology.”  

Once the proposed standard has been approved forensic practitioners will be able to reference it in physics and pattern determination, digital/multimedia, crime scene/death investigation, and chemistry/instrumental analysis. 

Forensic practitioners in any discipline are welcome to join in the development of the proposed standard. Become a member of ASTM.

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