Effective Aug. 15, 2020
In the firearm/toolmark pattern match Uniform Language for Testimony and Reports (ULTR), the new guidance for Department of Justice firearm examiners includes:
[A]n examiner shall not:
- assert that a ‘source identification’ or a ‘source exclusion’ conclusion is based on the ‘uniqueness’ of an item of evidence.
- use the terms ‘individualize’ or ‘individualization’ when describing a source conclusion.
- assert that two toolmarks originated from the same source to the exclusion of all other sources.
These new requirements are in addition to prior ULTR guidance that an examiner shall not claim infallibility, zero error rate, or absolute certainty.