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General Forensic Standards General forensic standards apply across the various fields of inquiry that together comprise forensics and come to work together in forensic investigations. With a standard terminology relating to forensic science, this standardized approach eases reliable communication between separate investigators and facilities. From there, these general forensic standards serve as a foundation upon which more specific standards build on, simultaneously reducing redundancy and freeing subsequent standards to focus solely on their particular topic.

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ASTM D4840-99(2010)

Standard Guide for Sampling Chain-of-Custody Procedures

1.1 This guide contains a comprehensive discussion of potential requirements for a sample chain-of-custody program and describes the procedures involved in sample chain-of-custody. The purpose of these procedures is to provide accountability for and documentation of sample integrity from the time samples are collected until sample disposal. 1.2 These procedures are intended to document sample possession during each stage of a sample's life cycle, that is, during collection, shipment, storage, and the process of analysis. 1.3 Sample chain-of-custody is just one aspect of the larger issue of data defensibility (see 3.2.2 and Appendix X1). 1.4 A sufficient chain-of-custody process, that is, one that provides sufficient evidence of sample integrity in a legal or regulatory setting, is situationally dependent. The procedures presented in this guide are generally considered sufficient to assure legal defensibility of sample integrity. In a given situation, less stringent measures may be adequate. It is the responsibility of the users of this guide to determine their exact needs. Legal counsel may be needed to make this determination. 1.5 Because there is no definitive program that guarantees legal defensibility of data integrity in any given situation, this guide provides a description and discussion of a comprehensive list of possible elements of a chain-of-custody program, all of which have been employed in actual programs but are given as options for the development of a specific chain-of-custody program. In addition, within particular chain-of-custody elements, this guide proscribes certain activities to assure that if these options are chosen, they will be implemented properly. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E1020-13e1

Standard Practice for Reporting Incidents that May Involve Criminal or Civil Litigation

1.1 This practice covers guidelines for the collection and preservation of information and physical evidence and the preparation of a documentation report relative to any incident(s) involving personal injury, property damage, commercial loss, or criminal acts which may reasonably be expected to be the subject of litigation. 1.2 The approach outlined is recommended as good professional practice even though the facts and issues of each situation require specific consideration, and may involve matters not expressly dealt with herein. Not every portion of this document may be applicable to every incident or investigation. It is up to the individual preparing the report to apply the appropriate recommended procedures in this guide to a particular incident or investigation. In addition, it is recognized that time and resource limitations or existing policies may limit the degree to which the recommendations in this document will be applied in a given investigation. The responsibility of the individual preparing the report (or anyone who handles or examines evidence) for evidence preservation, and the scope of that responsibility varies based on such factors as the jurisdiction, the status of the individual as a public official or private sector investigator, indications of criminal conduct, and applicable laws and regulations. 1.2.1 This practice does not apply to laboratory analysis reports. 1.2.2 If compliance with this standard is claimed, justifications for any deviations from this standard must be documented.


ASTM E1188-11

Standard Practice for Collection and Preservation of Information and Physical Items by a Technical Investigator

1.1 This practice covers guidelines for the collection and preservation of information and physical items by any technical investigator pertaining to an incident that can be reasonably expected to be the subject of litigation. 1.2 This practice recommends generally accepted professional principles and operations, although the facts and issues of each situation require consideration, and frequently involve matters not expressly dealt with herein. Deviations from this practice should be based on specific articulable circumstances. 1.3 This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This standard cannot replace knowledge, skill or ability acquired through appropriate education, training, and experience and should be used in conjunction with sound professional judgment. 1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E141-10

Standard Practice for Acceptance of Evidence Based on the Results of Probability Sampling

1.1 This practice presents rules for accepting or rejecting evidence based on a sample. Statistical evidence for this practice is in the form of an estimate of a proportion, an average, a total, or other numerical characteristic of a finite population or lot. It is an estimate of the result which would have been obtained by investigating the entire lot or population under the same rules and with the same care as was used for the sample. 1.2 One purpose of this practice is to describe straightforward sample selection and data calculation procedures so that courts, commissions, etc. will be able to verify whether such procedures have been applied. The methods may not give least uncertainty at least cost, they should however furnish a reasonable estimate with calculable uncertainty. 1.3 This practice is primarily intended for one-of-a-kind studies. Repetitive surveys allow estimates of sampling uncertainties to be pooled; the emphasis of this practice is on estimation of sampling uncertainty from the sample itself. The parameter of interest for this practice is effectively a constant. Thus, the principal inference is a simple point estimate to be used as if it were the unknown constant, rather than, for example, a forecast or prediction interval or distribution devised to match a random quantity of interest. 1.4 A system of units is not specified in this standard. 1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E1459-13

Standard Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation

1.1 This guide describes methods to be used for labeling physical evidence collected during field investigations; received in a forensic laboratory; or isolated, generated, or prepared from items submitted for laboratory examination. 1.2 Many types of physical evidence may be hazardous. It is assumed that personnel assigned to the collection, packaging, storing, or analysis of physical evidence will take precautions as appropriate to the evidence. 1.3 This guide offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This standard cannot replace knowledge, skill, or ability acquired through appropriate education, training, and experience and should be used in conjunction with sound professional judgment. 1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E1492-11

Standard Practice for Receiving, Documenting, Storing, and Retrieving Evidence in a Forensic Science Laboratory

1.1 This practice describes procedures and techniques for protecting and documenting the integrity of physical evidence with respect to suitability for scientific testing, and admissibility as evidence in criminal or civil litigation.


ASTM E1732-12

Standard Terminology Relating to Forensic Science

1.1 This is a compilation of terms and corresponding definitions used in the forensic sciences. Legal or scientific terms that are generally understood or defined adequately in other readily available sources may not be included. 1.2 A definition is a single sentence with additional information included in a Discussion . It is reviewed every five years, and the year of last review or revision is appended. 1.3 Definitions identical to those published by another standards organization or ASTM committee are identified with the abbreviation of the name of the organization or the identifying document and ASTM committee; for example, ASME is the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. 1.4 Definitions of terms specific to a particular field are identified with an abbreviation.


ASTM E620-11

Standard Practice foReporting Opinions of Scientific or Technical Experts

1.1 This practice covers the scope of information to be contained in formal written technical reports which express the opinions of the scientific or technical expert with respect to the study of items that are or may reasonably be expected to be the subject of criminal or civil litigation. 1.2 If compliance with this standard is claimed, the justifications for any deviations from this standard must be documented. 1.3 This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns associated with its use. It is the responsibility of whoever uses this standard to consult and establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E678-07(2013)

Standard Practice for Evaluation of Scientific or Technical Data

1.1 This practice establishes criteria for evaluating scientific and technical data, and other relevant considerations, which constitute acceptable bases for forming scientific or technical expert opinions. 1.2 This practice recommends generally acceptable professional practice, although the facts and issues of each situation require specific consideration, and may involve matters not expressly dealt with herein. Deviations from this practice are not necessarily wrong or inferior, but should be documented and justifiable, if compliance with this standard is claimed. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. 1.3 This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. 1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E860-07(2013)e1

Standard Practice for Examining And Preparing Items That Are Or May Become Involved In Criminal or Civil Litigation

1.1 This practice sets forth guidelines for the examination and testing of actual items or systems (hereinafter termed evidence) that may have been involved in a specific incident that are or may be reasonably expected to be the subject of civil or criminal litigation. This practice is intended to become applicable when it is determined that examination or testing of evidence is required, and such examination is likely to change the nature, state or condition of the evidence. 1.2 This practice recommends generally acceptable professional practice, although the facts and issues of each situation may require specific considerations not expressly addressed herein. Deviations from this practice are not necessarily wrong or inferior, but such deviations should be justified and documented. 1.3 This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This document cannot replace education, training, or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. 1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM D6708-16b

Standard Practice for Statistical Assessment and Improvement of Expected Agreement Between Two Test Methods that Purport to Measure the Same Property of a Material

1.1 This practice covers statistical methodology for assessing the expected agreement between two standard test methods that purport to measure the same property of a material, and deciding if a simple linear bias correction can further improve the expected agreement. It is intended for use with results collected from an interlaboratory study meeting the requirement of Practice D6300 or equivalent (for example, ISO 4259). The interlaboratory study must be conducted on at least ten materials that span the intersecting scopes of the test methods, and results must be obtained from at least six laboratories using each method. 1.2 The statistical methodology is based on the premise that a bias correction will not be needed. In the absence of strong statistical evidence that a bias correction would result in better agreement between the two methods, a bias correction is not made. If a bias correction is required, then the parsimony principle is followed whereby a simple correction is to be favored over a more complex one. Note 1: Failure to adhere to the parsimony principle generally results in models that are over-fitted and do not perform well in practice. 1.3 The bias corrections of this practice are limited to a constant correction, proportional correction or a linear (proportional + constant) correction. 1.4 The bias-correction methods of this practice are method symmetric, in the sense that equivalent corrections are obtained regardless of which method is bias-corrected to match the other. 1.5 A methodology is presented for establishing the 95 % confidence limit (designated by this practice as the between methods reproducibility ) for the difference between two results where each result is obtained by a different operator using different apparatus and each applying one of the two methods X and Y on identical material, where one of the methods has been appropriately bias-corrected in accordance with this practice. Note 2: In earlier versions of this standard practice, the term cross-method reproducibility was used in place of the term between methods reproducibility. The change was made because the between methods reproducibility term is more intuitive and less confusing. It is important to note that these two terms are synonymous and interchangeable with one another, especially in cases where the cross-method reproducibility term was subsequently referenced by name in methods where a D6708 assessment was performed, before the change in terminology in this standard practice was adopted. Note 3: Users are cautioned against applying the between methods reproducibility as calculated from this practice to materials that are significantly different in composition from those actually studied, as the ability of this practice to detect and address sample-specific biases (see 6.8 ) is dependent on the materials selected for the interlaboratory study. When sample-specific biases are present, the types and ranges of samples may need to be expanded significantly from the minimum of ten as specified in this practice in order to obtain a more comprehensive and reliable 95 % confidence limits for between methods reproducibility that adequately cover the range of sample specific biases for different types of materials. 1.6 This practice is intended for test methods which measure quantitative (numerical) properties of petroleum or petroleum products. 1.7 The statistical methodology outlined in this practice is also applicable for assessing the expected agreement between any two test methods that purport to measure the same property of a material, provided the results are obtained on the same comparison sample set, the standard error associated with each test result is known, and the sample set design meets the requirements of this practice, in particular that the statistical degree of freedom associated with all standard errors are 30 or greater.