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Forensic Crime Labs: Scrutinizing Results, Audits & Accreditation Part 2
By Frederic Whitehurst
13. Raw data for the complete measurement sequence (opening and closing quality control included) that includes the subject samples. For GC-MS analysis, this would include: areas and retention times, injection volumes, dilution factors, chromatograms and mass spectra. As prepared and as determined values for all quality control samples.
Modern analytical chemistry instrumentation is generally run by computers and data is collected in those computers. There is no reason that one must accept the fact that forensic crime labs do not have data storage capabilities. Paper print outs of mass spec and other instrumental data represent the data which may very well have been manipulated with computer algorithms/programs to take out “noise”, make the graph appear to be smoother, remove information, etc. Counsel should demand the raw data which has not been manipulated in order that review may address the actual information collected rather than the forensic lab’s version of it.
14. A description o
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