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  • 1 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Analytical Chemistry Division 37830 Oak Ridge Tennessee (USA)
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Cross Mark


The forensic activation analyst must often evaluate his own results as they relate to certain legal or moral situations, since investigative officers, and courts of law are not usually competent to make judgements of the validity or meaning of scientific data. In providing scientific evidence in court, two criteria for criminal identification must be met: (1) suspect's sample should be similar to sample found at the scene of the crime, (2) samples relared to other people in the same statistical population should not generally match that found at the crime site. When two or more specimens are submitted for comparison by NAA they will usually fall into one of three classes: (a) materials about which we have partial or inconclusive data, (c) materials with an excellent analytical data background. Ideally all cases would fall in category c; in practice, very few. Some examples of cases and/or situations that fall into these three categories in both individual and corporate investigations are given.