Forensic metrology is the application of scientific measurement to the investigation and prosecution of crime. Forensic measurements are relied upon to determine breath and blood alcohol and drug concentrations, weigh seized drugs, perform accident reconstruction, and for many other applications. Forensic metrology provides a basic framework for the performance and critical evaluation of all forensic measurements. It enables forensic scientists to better develop, perform and communicate forensic measurements; lawyers to better understand, present and cross-examine the results of forensic measurements; and judges to better subject testimony and evidence based on forensic measurements to the appropriate gatekeeping analysis.
Forensic Metrology Scientific Measurement and Inference for Lawyers, Judges, and Criminalists sets forth the metrological framework required to reach sound conclusions based on measured results and the inferences those results support. Armed with this knowledge, scientists and nonscientists alike can:
- Engage in critical analysis of forensic measurements across a broad spectrum
- Better understand what measured results represent
- Successfully prepare and present testimony and/or cases that involve such evidence
- Recognize poor measurement practices and prevent bad science from undermining the search for truth in the courtroom
The book begins by introducing and developing metrological principles and concepts. Next, it presents advanced and mathematically rigorous principles and methods of inference in metrology. Throughout the book, scientific and legal aspects of measurements are addressed and accompanied by examples. The accompanying CD includes an in-depth Primer on Forensic Metrology and provides practice materials for legal and forensic professionals that include court decisions, legal motions, and expert reports.
A basic understanding of forensic metrology will improve the practices of both legal and forensic professionals, helping to ensure the integrity of the legal system, its fact-finding functions, and the practice of justice in the courtroom.
Science, Metrology, and the Law. Introduction to Measurement: The Measurand. Weights and Measures. Validation and Good Measurement Practices. Result Interpretation-I: Metrological Prerequisites to Knowledge. Result Interpretation-II: Measurement Error. Result Interpretation-III: Measurement Uncertainty. Epistemological Structure of Metrology. Models and Uncertainty. Logic, Plausibility, and Probability. Bayes’ Relation. Statistics and the Characterizing of Uncertainties. Hypothesis Testing, Evidence, Likelihood, Data. Confidence and Credible Intervals, Statistical Inference. Least Squares, Parameter Estimation, and Correlation. Measurements: Errors versus Uncertainty. Plausibility and the Law. Reading List. Example: Effect of a Calibration Constant. References. Appendix A: Symbols. Appendix B: Glossary. Appendix C: Metrology Organizations and Standards. Appendix D: Legal Authorities. Appendix E: Case Materials. Index.