What is a questioned document? Describe at least one example of something that might be a questioned document.
A questioned document is any document with handwriting or typewriting that is in question as to its authenticity. a questioned document is passports or contracts or even wills. What is an exemplar? What are the best types of exemplars?
Exemplars are authentic samples that are compared with the questioned document. The best types of examplers are the ones that are as similar as possible.
What are natural variations? Describe how these may happen.
Natural variations are the small differences that appear in any repeated samples of a person’s handwriting. Over time our signatures change because each time we write a check or something our hand will change the way we write. How are stamped signatures different from written signatures?
Stamped signatures are different from written signatures because stamped signatures are always the same, there is nothing different about them, but in a written signature there are a lot of little differences so therefore it cannot be the exact same every time you write something.
What are some of the typescript machines that document examiners may have to investigate? Choose one of these machines and describe what document examiners may look for when comparing the machine to a questioned document.
The Daisy Wheel Printer works on the same principle as a ball-head typewriter. The disc is made of plastic or metal on witch characters stand out.
Critical Thinking Questions
Why are questioned documents important in forensic science? What is one example of a situation where a questioned document might be an important part of a criminal case?
What are some of the ways that a document examiner might try to match a questioned document to a specific typewriter? What aspects might they look at? Imagine that you have been asked to determine whether a signature on a check is authentic or a forgery. What steps would you take in doing this? What aspects would you examine? Imagine that you have been asked to determine whether a will written fifty years ago is authentic or a modern-day forgery. How would you go about doing this? What aspects would you examine to help you make your determination? A law enforcement agent is in charge of getting a writing sample from an uncooperative suspect. The agent puts the suspect in a comfortable room and has the person choose from a bunch of pencils and ink pens. The agent takes the questioned document and dictates the information to the suspect, having the suspect write down what she says as she reads from the questioned document. After several paragraphs, the agent stops and has the suspect rewrite the material two more times. What did the agent do wrong in this situation? What did the agent do right?