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Questioned Documents First Chapter

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Questioned Documents First Chapter

  1. 1. Copyrighted Material.
  2. 2. Copyrighted Material.
  3. 3. Copyrighted Material. Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents (ChapterHouse Publishing Incorporated series in Forensic Sciences) First Edition Philippine Copyright, 2013 By: ChapterHouse Publishing Incorporated All Rights Reserved. The text of this book or any part hereof, may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including copying, recording, storage in any informational retrieval system, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any unauthorized copying, reproduction, or dissemination of any portion of this book shall be prosecuted in accordance with law. Published and Distributed by: ChapterHouse Publishing Incorporated Novaliches, Quezon City Edited by: The English Factor www.englishfactor.com “Providing international-quality editorial services at reasonable costs.” ISBN: 978-971-95775-4-6
  4. 4. Copyrighted Material. Table of Contents DEDICATION........................................................................VII PREFACE..............................................................................IX CHAPTER 1 THE FIELD OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION............ 1 What is Forensic Science?............................................................ 2 What is Forensic Document Examination?................................... 2 The PNP Questioned Document Examination Division.................. 4 The Forensic Document Examiner............................................... 7 CHAPTER 2 HISTORY OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION............. 11 History of Writing...................................................................... 12 History of Forgery...................................................................... 13 Expert Witnesses and Pioneers of Document Examination......... 13 Historical Cases of the Twentieth Century.................................. 15
  5. 5. Copyrighted Material. CHAPTER 3 DOCUMENTS............................................................................ 21 What Are Documents?............................................................... 22 What Are Questioned Documents?............................................. 22 Nature and Classification of Documents.................................... 23 Proper Care and Handling of Questioned Documents................. 24 Standards of Comparison.......................................................... 27 CHAPTER 4 FORGERY................................................................................. 29 What is Forgery?........................................................................ 30 Indication of Genuineness......................................................... 30 Indication of Forgery.................................................................. 32 Kinds and Methods of Forging.................................................... 33 Techniques of the Forger............................................................ 35 CHAPTER 5 TOOLS, TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES.............................. 37 Techniques Used in the Examination of         Questioned Documents...................................................... 39 Procedure in Examining Questioned Documents........................ 40 Instruments and Equipment in Forensic         Document Examination..................................................... 43 Photography in Forensic Document Examination....................... 50 CHAPTER 6 WRITING MATERIALS, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT................... 53 Paper......................................................................................... 54         Brief History of Paper............................................................. 54         Types of Paper........................................................................ 54         Properties of Paper................................................................. 56         Examination of Paper............................................................. 56 Writing Instruments.................................................................. 58         Pencils.................................................................................... 58
  6. 6. Copyrighted Material.         Ink.......................................................................................... 59 Typewriters and Printers............................................................ 59 CHAPTER 7 HANDWRITING IDENTIFICATION............................................ 61 What Is Handwriting?................................................................ 62 What Is Handwriting Identification?........................................... 62 The Process Underlying Handwriting Identification.................... 63 Five Intricacies or Complexities of Handwriting.......................... 64 What is Handwriting System?.................................................... 65 Individual Characteristics in Handwriting.................................. 67 Variations in Handwriting.......................................................... 68 Factors That Affect Handwriting................................................. 68 CHAPTER 8 FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF HANDWRITING........................ 71 Systematic Examination of Handwriting..................................... 72 Handwriting and Hand Printing Examination............................. 74 Different Structures of Letter Design.......................................... 88 Disguised Writing.................................................................... 114 CHAPTER 9 FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF QUESTIONED SIGNATURES................................................... 117 What Is a Signature?............................................................... 118 Kinds of Signature................................................................... 119 Stroke Structure of Signatures................................................. 119 What Is Signature Identification?............................................. 120 Classification of Suspect Signatures........................................ 122 Indications of Forgery.............................................................. 123 Characteristics of a Genuine Signature.................................... 125 Standards of Comparison........................................................ 125 Suggested Steps in the Examination of Signatures................... 128 Methodology of Forgery............................................................ 128
  7. 7. Copyrighted Material. CHAPTER 10 FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF ALTERATION......................... 139 Alteration................................................................................ 140 Kinds of Alteration................................................................... 140 Obliteration............................................................................. 142 Erasure................................................................................... 142 Indented Writing...................................................................... 143 Elements of Proof..................................................................... 143 Methods of Alteration............................................................... 145 Points to Consider in Alterations.............................................. 145 CHAPTER 11 FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY... 147 What is Counterfeiting?........................................................... 148 The Evolution of the Philippine Currency................................. 148 Philippine Peso Banknotes:         The New Generation Currency (NGC) Series..................... 152 Protecting the Philippine Currency........................................... 160 CHAPTER 12 FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF TYPEWRITING....................... 161 What is a Typewriter?.............................................................. 162 What is Typewriting Identification?.......................................... 162 Techniques in Typewriting Identification.................................. 163 Kinds of Typewriter ................................................................. 164 Determining Document Genuineness....................................... 164 Typewriter Defects................................................................... 164 Parts of Typewriter................................................................... 170 CHAPTER 13 FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF PRINTED AND PHOTOCOPIED DOCUMENTS................................................ 171 Examination of Computer-Generated Documents..................... 172 Examination of Photocopied Documents.................................. 174
  8. 8. Copyrighted Material. CHAPTER 14 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE IN COURT............................ 177 Presentation of Handwriting Evidence...................................... 178 Presentation of Other Evidence in QD...................................... 180 CHAPTER 15 PHILIPPINE LAWS ON QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS............... 183 Revised Penal Code – Crimes Against Public Interest................ 184 Revised Penal Code – Crimes against Public Interest................ 189 GLOSSARY.............................................................................. 199 BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................................................... 205
  9. 9. Copyrighted Material. THE FIELD OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION CHAPTER 1 THE FIELD OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION Learning Objectives At the end of this chapter, the student will be able to: • Define forensic science and forensic document examination • Enumerate the functions of the PNP Questioned Document Examination Division • Describe the work of a forensic document examiner 1
  10. 10. Copyrighted Material. 2 Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents What is Forensic Science? Broadly speaking, forensic science is the application of scientific techniques and principles in order to provide evidence to legal or related investigations and determinations. In simpler terms, it can be defined as science as it pertains to legal problems. For example, DNA typing and the identification of drugs involve the use of specialized scientific equipment by personnel with science degrees. However, there are also difficulties in this definition such as when the detection of fingerprints at a crime scene is conducted by a police officer who does not have a science degree. In fact, recent court cases in the U.S.A. have questioned whether there truly is a scientific principle underlying the discipline of forensic science (Tilstone, Savage, & Clark, 2006). Criminalistics, or the application of forensic science to criminal matters, should be distinguished from the term criminology, or the social science study of crime and criminal behavior. In practice, criminalistics applies science to the solution of crimes through the examination of physical evidence in the field or the crime laboratory. Examples of such physical evidence include hairs, fibers, latent fingerprints, and biological material. The strength of criminalistics lies in the reliability and objectivity of scientific testing (Fisher, Tilstone, & Woytowicz, 2009). What is Forensic Document Examination? The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners defines forensic document examination as the practice of the application of document examination to the purposes of the law. This includes the identification of handwriting, typewriting, the authenticity of signatures, alterations in documents, the significance of inks and papers, photocopying processes, writing instruments, sequence of writings and other elements of a document in relation to its authenticity or spuriousness (Eckert, 1997). Forensic document examination is also usually called questioned document examination or scientific examination of questioned documents. In the Philippines, crime laboratories and popular media refer to it simply as “QD” as short for “questioned documents.” It is also known by other names such as handwriting examination or handwriting analysis. It should, however, be distinguished from graphology, which is the study of handwriting to identify the writer’s personality traits. Forensic document examiners do not engage in personality identification via a study of handwriting. The terms forensic document examination and questioned document examination will be used interchangeably in this textbook to
  11. 11. Copyrighted Material. THE FIELD OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION refer to the task of answering questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific processes and methods. These questions may include the following: Is the document authentic? Was anything added to or removed from the document? Does the handwriting belong to the individual or the typescript to a particular machine? What is the age of the document? If the document has been altered, can we recover any of the original? Analyses are conducted in order to answer these questions and be able to determine who created or what device was used to create it, what changes have occurred since its original production, and if it is as old as it purports to be. Examinations include the following: • Handwriting and signature comparisons • Detection of alterations, deletions, and substitutions • Mechanical and electronic impression comparisons • Detection of counterfeits • Decipherment of obliterated text • Examination of water-soaked, charred, stained, or torn documents • Ink and paper comparison • Determination of sequence of entry • Detection and analysis of indented and other accidental writings • Age of documents A combination of examination techniques may be required depending on the questions raised about the integrity and method of production of the questioned document. Examples of questioned documents submitted for such examinations include the following: • Wills • Checks • Credit card receipts 3
  12. 12. Copyrighted Material. 4 Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents • Business contracts • Marriage contracts • Birth certificates • Mortgages, deeds of land, transfers, and leases • Insurance applications • Agreements • Accounting ledgers and financial records • Anonymous and threatening letters • Suicide notes • Tests and examinations • Medical charts • Diaries, agendas, and appointment books • Legal files The PNP Questioned Document Examination Division The Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory Group includes the Questioned Document Examination Division (QDED), which aims to provide scientific support in forms of documentary and testimonial evidences. Their function to examine questioned documents specifically includes the following: 1. Handwriting examination – including hand lettering (such as anonymous letters, ransom notes and suicide notes) and signatures (such as those appearing in deeds of absolute sale, receipts, marriage contracts and land titles) 2. Imprint examination – including those produced by manual devices (rubber stamps, dater stamps and some cancellation stamps), mechanical devices (typewriters and cheque writers), and electronic printing devices, (typewriters, computer printers, time clocks and cash registers); also includes those produced by the manufacture of counterfeits (currencies, negotiable
  13. 13. Copyrighted Material. THE FIELD OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION instruments, travel documents, licenses, and various personal credentials and identification documents) 3. Writing media examination – including instruments, inks and papers 4. Dating examination – including absolute determinations (e.g., dates of introduction of products) and relative determination (e.g., erasures or alterations), changes, insertions and substitutions 5. Examination of falsification and alterations – including removals (e.g., erasures or alterations), changes, insertions and substitutions 6. Examination of invisible, faded and obscured writings and impressions of writings 7. Examination of preternatural paper characteristics – including tears, fasteners (e.g., paper clips and staples), cuts and perforations 8. Miscellaneous examination – including envelope tampering, adhesives, laminations, typist’s characteristics and linguistics 9. Conduct lectures to PNP, AFP and other government agencies 10. Conduct field laboratory works – questioned document examiners are sent to agencies/offices to conduct examination and to photograph original documents that cannot be submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory 11. Attend court duties Document examinations performed by the PNP-QDED are based on written requests from government agencies, private investigating agencies, court orders, as well as private requesting parties. However, documents previously examined by any competent government agency are not reexamined unless ordered by the court of law. If the case is undergoing trial in court, disputed documents are examined only upon order of the court having jurisdiction of the case. The PNP Crime Laboratory provides frontline services for the examination of questioned documents. Below is a table showing the requirements for the conduct of examination based on the PNP Citizen’s Charter (PNP, 2009). 5
  14. 14. Copyrighted Material. 6 Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents PNP CRIME LAB SERVICE 1. Examination of altered or erased documents 2. Examination of counterfeit bills 3. Handwriting Identification 4. Signature Identification DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS FEES DURATION P2,000 4 working days • Four copies of letter request • Original copy of altered/ erased document P2,000 3 working days • Four copies of letter request • Original of the questioned bills P3,500 P2,000 10 working days • Four copies of letter request • Original of the questioned document • Original copy of at least five pages of extended handwriting of similar writing style of subject individual 10 working days • Four copies of letter request • Original of the questioned document • Original copy of at least eight different documents bearing similar writing style and standard signatures, executed five years before and after the execution of the questioned signature (Fees and Duration Reflect Rates as of October 2013) Other chapters in this textbook include information based on the PNP’s adherence to the highest professional standards of ethics as questioned document examiners. In Chapter 5, for example, the techniques and procedures used by the PNP-QDED in examining questioned documents will be enumerated. The same chapter also includes tools and equipment used in the PNP Crime Laboratory.
  15. 15. Copyrighted Material. THE FIELD OF FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION The Forensic Document Examiner In past decades experts in the area of analyzing documents were generally referred to as questioned document examiners. Sometimes they are also called forensic scientists, document examiners, document experts, handwriting experts, or by a combination of these and other descriptions. Today, they are more commonly referred as forensic document examiners. For purposes of this book, however, the terms forensic document examiners and questioned document examiners will both be used. Forensic document examiners or a questioned document examiners refer to persons who study all aspects of a document to determine its authenticity, origin, handwriting, photocopies, inks and papers. Unlike the typical law enforcement officer, they do not conduct crime scene searches, street investigations, interviews or interrogations. Their work does not involve face-to-face encounters with the street reality of crime and its victims, witnesses and suspects. Forensic document examiners are basically laboratory investigators. The profession of forensic document examination did not develop as an extension of other scientific professions such as medicine, chemistry or engineering. Instead, it evolved within the legal system due to the courts’ need for assistance in interpreting evidence relating to questioned documents (Kelly & Lindblom, 2006). The goal of a forensic document examiner is to study and investigate documents in order to determine the facts about their preparation and history. The work usually involves the examination of handwriting, but the forensic document examiner’s scope of expertise also includes the following: • Recognizing genuineness • Analyzing colortone of inks, papers, and other substances that comprise documents • Revealing additions and substitutions • Restoring or deciphering erased and obliterated writing 7

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