Simon A. Cole

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Many forensic disciplines require experts to judge whether two complex patterns are sufficiently similar to conclude that both originate from the same source. Studies in this area have revealed that there are a number of factors that affect perception and judgment and that decisions are subjective and susceptible to extraneous influences (such as emotional(More)
For a century, the matching of images of fingerprints has been used for forensic identification. Despite that history, there have been no published, peer-reviewed studies directly examining the extent to which people can correctly match fingerprints to one another. The results of three experiments using naïve undergraduates to match images of fingerprints(More)
Part I, describes how the NAS Report characterizes “scientific culture.” I suggest that the described attributes of scientific culture are vague and unspecific, and that more thought is necessary to elucidate how they might map onto forensic science. In Part II, I suggest that the NAS Report’s characterization of “scientific culture” is based on popular(More)
Efforts to harness computer fingerprint databases to perform studies relevant to fingerprint identification have tended to focus on 10-print, rather than latent print, identification or on the inherent individuality of fingerprint images. This paper reports on three experiments that measure the accuracy of a computer fingerprint matcher at identifying the(More)
Over the past decade, popular media has promulgated claims that the television program CSI and its spinoffs and imitators have had a pernicious effect on the public understanding of forensic science, the so-called "CSI effect." This paper analyzes those media claims by documenting the ways in which the media claims that CSI "distorts" an imagined "reality."(More)
Several forensic sciences, especially of the pattern-matching kind, are increasingly seen to lack the scientific foundation needed to justify continuing admission as trial evidence. Indeed, several have been abolished in the recent past. A likely next candidate for elimination is bitemark identification. A number of DNA exonerations have occurred in recent(More)
Social science scholarship has tended to focus more on the causes than the consequences of miscarriages of justice. Within the literature on consequences, the overwhelming emphasis has been on individual consequences: psychological and material impacts on the wrongly convicted individual and, in some cases, other indirectly impacted individuals such as(More)