Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Albanese, John

Keywords

Crime scene investigation; Faro Focus; Forensic anthropology; Novel science; Terrestrial laser scanners

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Terrestrial laser scanners are sophisticated measurement devices that have relatively recently become forensic tools. Despite a respectable breadth on the topic in existing literature, issues surrounding the use of this technology on-scene, the validity of its accuracy, and the legal evidentiary implications of its use remain largely unexplored. This research explored these gaps via experimentation with the Faro Focus3D 330X’s accuracy and forensic anthropological utility (the latter tested through biological characteristic estimation regression models). This experiment was situated in a broader legal evidentiary context that involved review of relevant case law and a case study of the first use of TLS-produced evidence in Canada. Results show that the device has an error rate of approximately 3 mm. Measurements obtained and inputted into the forensic anthropological regression models yielded results quite similar to those estimated by control (i.e., by hand) measurements, despite statistically significantly different means.

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