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Re: [infoguys-list] Court Ruliing On What Handwriting Analysis Doesn't Do

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  • suesarkis@aol.com
    Dear Arnold - It appears that you are standing on belief of pure, nonsensical hearsay. I would strongly suggest in the future that you do not go quoting
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 4, 2005
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      Dear Arnold -

      It appears that you are standing on belief of pure, nonsensical hearsay. I
      would strongly suggest in the future that you do not go quoting hearsay
      snippets that you read on the Internet before a forum of seasoned investigators
      without first having read the case being cited.

      You stated that in the Hazelwood S.D. matter handwriting analysis was found
      to meet the EEOC, (Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act) requirements as
      nondiscriminatory." Such does not appear to be the case. Yes, the District
      Court did find in favor of the school district but the Court of Appeal reversed.
      Then, in 1977, the reversal was reversed when the United States Supreme Court
      granted certiorari. However, "handwriting" was not an issue in the matter
      whatsoever and the word as well as anything remotely similar was never, ever
      mentioned. What was at issue and the ONLY THING at issue was the formula used
      for the ratios and what formulas, if any, constituted an act of discriminatory
      hiring. The Supremes reversed based on the ground that the trial court's
      analysis of statistical data rested on an irrelevant comparison of black teachers
      to black pupils in Hazelwood, instead of a comparison of black teachers in
      Hazelwood to black teachers in the relevant labor market area.
      Now, let's get back to the root of this thread. I believe the original
      discussion was about "admissibility". With that said, I believe that any
      discussion about handwriting analysis (graphology) admissibility as well as the experts
      who would testify in the court case must start with Rule 702 of the FRE,
      which states that:

      If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the
      trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a
      witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
      education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the
      testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the
      product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the
      principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.

      Graphology for purposes of "personality trait" issues does not appear to pass
      muster. Not only that, in the case of Cameron v Knapp, 137 Misc. 2d 373, 520
      N.Y.S.2d 917 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 1987) the court specifically ruled that a
      handwriting expert may testify as to the authenticity of a writing in a
      questioned document examination (QDE) but NOT as to an individual's physical or mental
      condition based on a handwriting sample and this stands as current U.S. case
      law for the rejection of graphology as admissible evidence. QDE on the other
      hand has been used in the courts since 1792. The first reported known case was
      Goodtitle Drevett v Braham 100 Eng Rep 1139 (1792).

      Now, after much research on this matter, I have come to determine that there
      is NO published research indicating the accuracy of any of the specific traits
      used by any of the systems of handwriting analysis used in graphology.
      Although there are some studies which imply that the approach as a whole has merit
      but nothing more, there is a major shortage of supporting empirical evidence.

      Therefore, it appears that graphology is about as admissible in a court of
      law as all forms of voodoo and tarot card reading.

      Sincerely yours,
      Sue Sarkis
      Sarkis Detective Agency
      (est. 1976)
      PI 6564
      1346 Ethel Street
      Glendale, CA 91207-1826
      818-246-3001 FAX

      If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank
      a military veteran.

      God Bless America and her allies forever !!

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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