Incompetence Forces GBI to Suspend Handwriting Analysis

Handwriting analysis has been the foundation for case-cracking throughout the modern era. High profile cases such as the Lindberg kidnapping and Son of Sam were busted wide open thanks to the science of handwriting comparison. But apparently enlisting the services of a private handwriting expert is the only option the people of Georgia have nowadays.

The Georgia State Crime Lab has stopped providing handwriting comparison analysis for criminal cases because scientists have yet to pass an assessment required by a national accrediting agency, according to recent reports from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Reports indicate the staffed GBI scientists conducting the handwriting comparisons did not meet the “requirements for our quality system.”

Handwriting analysis is a much targeted specialty, implemented to really target the finest details of a case when other pieces of evidence aren’t available or DNA wasn’t found. Implementing private handwriting analysis firms seems the best route at this point, given the failure at the state levels to pass basic comprehension for accreditation.

Expert forensic handwriting analysts closely examine class characteristics from a writer’s writing system and their individual characteristics to identify criminals and verify document authenticity. Comparing known specimens written by an identified person, the “exemplar,” are judged against differences and similarities in similar words or letter combinations. There have been a number of criminals suspected, caught and convicted based on nothing more than a forensic handwriting analysis.

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