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Ballistic Imaging Ballistic Imaging Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database Daniel L. Cork, John E. Rolph, Eugene S. Meieran, and Carol V. Petrie, Editors Committee on Law and Justice Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Materials Advisory Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Ballistic Imaging THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The project that is the subject of this report was supported by contract 2003-IJ-CX-1013 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Justice. The work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (Number SBR-0112521). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database. Ballistic imaging / Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database ; Daniel L. Cork … [et al.]. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-309-11724-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-309-11725-8 (pdf : alk. paper) 1. Forensic ballistics—Atlases—Data processing—Government policy—United States. 2. Bullets—Identification—Databases. 3. Images, Photographic—Databases. 4. Electronic records—United States—Management—Data processing. I. Cork, Daniel L. II. Title. HV8077.N38 2008 363.25'62—dc22 2008015181 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Second printing with corrections. Cover illustration and design by Van Nguyen. Cover images: Gun and bullets images provided by C. Sherburne/PhotoLink ©1999 PhotoDisc, Inc. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2008). Ballistic Imaging. Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database. Daniel L. Cork, John E. Rolph, Eugene S. Meieran, and Carol V. Petrie, eds. Committee on Law and Justice and Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Materials Advisory Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Ballistic Imaging THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Ballistic Imaging COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE FEASIBILITY, ACCURACY, AND TECHNICAL CAPABILITY OF A NATIONAL BALLISTICS DATABASE JOHN E. ROLPH (Chair), Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California EUGENE S. MEIERAN (Vice Chair), Fellow, Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, California ALFRED BLUMSTEIN, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University ALICIA CARRIQUIRY, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University SCOTT CHUMBLEY, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University PHILIP J. COOK, Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University MARC DE GRAEF, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University DAVID L. DONOHO, Department of Statistics, Stanford University WILLIAM F. EDDY, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University GEORGE (RUSTY) GRAY, Materials Science Division, Los Alamos National Laboratories ERIC GRIMSON, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Department of Medical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DANIEL HUTTENLOCHER, Department of Computing, Information Science, and Business, Cornell University MICHAEL M. MEYER, Google, Inc., Seattle, Washington VIJAY NAIR, Department of Statistics and Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan ANGELO NINIVAGGI, Plexus Corp., Neenah, Wisconsin DAVID W. PISENTI, Consultant, Fredericksburg, Virginia DARYL PREGIBON, Google, Inc., New York, New York HERMAN M. REININGA, Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa JAMES K. (CHIPS) STEWART, CNA Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia MICHAEL STONEBRAKER, Department of Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology HARRY WECHSLER,* Department of Computer Science, George Mason University JULIA WEERTMAN, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University (emeritus)
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Ballistic Imaging CAROL V. PETRIE, Study Director DANIEL L. CORK, Senior Program Officer GARY FISCHMAN,** Director, National Materials Advisory Board MICHAEL SIRI, Senior Program Assistant ANTHONY A. BRAGA, Consultant LAWDEN YATES, Consultant * Served until May 2004. ** Served as liaison member to the committee from the National Materials Advisory Board until becoming that board’s staff director in March 2005.
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Ballistic Imaging COMMITTEE ON LAW AND JUSTICE 2007 JAMES Q. WILSON (Chair), School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, and Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles (emeritus) PHILIP J. COOK (Vice Chair), Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University DAVID H. BAYLEY, School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, State University of New York RICHARD BONNIE, Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, University of Virginia Law School MARTHA CRENSHAW, Department of Political Science, Wesleyan University ROBERT CRUTCHFIELD, Department of Sociology, University of Washington JOHN DIIULIO, JR., Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania STEVEN DURLAUF, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison JOHN FEREJOHN, Hoover Institution, Stanford University ARTHUR GOLDBERGER, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison (emeritus) BRUCE HOFFMAN, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University ROBERT L. JOHNSON, Office of the Dean, New Jersey Medical School JOHN H. LAUB, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland TRACEY MEARES, Yale Law School TERRIE MOFFITT, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University MARK MOORE, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University RUTH PETERSON, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University RICHARD ROSENFELD, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri, St. Louis ROBERT J. SAMPSON, Department of Sociology, Harvard University JEREMY TRAVIS, Office of the President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice CHRISTY VISHER, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware CAROL V. PETRIE, Director
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Ballistic Imaging COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2008 WILLIAM F. EDDY (Chair), Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University KATHARINE ABRAHAM, Department of Economics and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland WILLIAM DUMOUCHEL, Lincoln Technologies, Inc., Waltham, Massachusetts JOHN HALTIWANGER, Department of Economics, University of Maryland V. JOSEPH HOTZ, Department of Economics, Duke University KAREN KAFADAR, Department of Statistics, Indiana University DOUGLAS MASSEY, Department of Sociology, Princeton University SALLY MORTON, Statistics and Epidemiology, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina VIJAY NAIR, Department of Statistics and Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan JOSEPH NEWHOUSE, Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University SAMUEL H. PRESTON, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania KENNETH PREWITT, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University LOUISE RYAN, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University ROGER TOURANGEAU, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland ALAN ZASLAVSKY, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director
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Ballistic Imaging NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD 2007 KATHARINE G. FRASE (Chair), IBM Corporate Technology and Intellectual Property, Somers, New York LYLE H. SCHWARTZ (Vice Chair), Consultant, Chevy Chase, Maryland JOHN ALLISON, Ford Research Laboratories, Dearborn, Michigan PAUL BECHER, Metals and Ceramic Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory CHERYL R. BLANCHARD, Zimmer, Inc., Warsaw, Indiana EVERETT E. BLOOM, Metal and Ceramics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory BARBARA D. BOYAN, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology L. CATHERINE BRINSON, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University JOHN W. CAHN, University of Washington DIANNE CHONG, Materials and Process Technology and Structural Technology, Prototyping and Quality, The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri PAUL CITRON, Medtronic, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota (retired) FIONA DOYLE, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley SOSSINA M. HAILE, Associate Professor of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology CAROL A. HANDWERKER, Department of Materials Engineering, Purdue University ELIZABETH HOLM, Sandia National Laboratories, Hoboken, New Jersey ANDREW T. HUNT, nGimat Company, Atlanta, Georgia DAVID W. JOHNSON, JR., Senior Advisor, Stevens Institute of Technology ROBERT H. LATIFF, SAIC, Alexandria, Virginia TERRY LOWE, Los Alamos National Laboratory KENNETH H. SANDHAGE, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology LINDA SCHADLER, Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ROBERT E. SCHAFRIK, Materials and Process Engineering Department, GE Aircraft Engines, Cincinnati, Ohio JAMES C. SEFERIS, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington SHARON L. SMITH, Advanced Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland GARY FISCHMAN, Director
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Ballistic Imaging Preface The Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database is pleased to submit this final report and wishes to thank the many people who have contributed to our work over the committee’s lifetime. This project was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. We are grateful for the support of NIJ staff and their participation in our meetings. We are particularly indebted to Christopher Miles, the program manager for this project, and to John Morgan, deputy director, NIJ Office of Science and Technology, for their assistance and their patience as our committee worked through this complex project. Through a separate contract initiated by NIJ, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was engaged to conduct experiments in support of the committee’s work. As described in Chapters 7 and 8 of this report, NIST’s work for the panel focused on the potential of one possible major enhancement to current ballistic imaging technology: a change from two-dimensional photography to three-dimensional surface measurements. Just as this committee required extensive collaboration between disparate units within the National Academies and representation from a breadth of disciplines, so too did the NIST experimental work for the committee draw together staff from several NIST units, and we have benefited greatly from this collaboration. Susan Ballou, Office of Law Enforcement Standards, provided excellent oversight of the NIST team, and Theodore Vorburger, Surface Metrology Division, was unstinting in his zeal for this work. NIST subcontracted and partnered in this work with Benjamin Bachrach of
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Ballistic Imaging Intelligent Automation, Inc., whose insights from past and current three-dimensional analysis of bullet and cartridge evidence gave shape to many of the committee’s discussions. As the work developed, James Filliben of NIST’s statistical unit oversaw the final experiment design and analysis plan, and he provided outstanding assistance. We are grateful to all the current and former NIST staff who worked on this project, including Dewey Foreman, John Libert, Brian Renegar, Mike Riley, John Song, James Yen, and Alan Zhang. Throughout the panel’s deliberations, we benefited from the counsel of two consultants, Anthony Braga and Lawden Yates. Braga, a senior research associate and lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, provided empirical analysis and extended and elaborated on previous work on the use of ballistic imaging in the Boston area. His paper on the latter topic appears as Appendix A. When the committee was being formed, it was decided not to include an active firearms examiner. Instead, the committee had the counsel of Lawden Yates, a former firearms and toolmark examiner and laboratory director, who also served as general counsel to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and as assistant district attorney for Blount and Saint Clair Counties, Alabama. He provided invaluable information and advice to the committee on a range of technical matters. Though motivated by questions concerning a new data collection system, this project also required a comprehensive review and assessment of the current National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The ATF responded to our requests with exceptional openness and enthusiasm. In particular, we are grateful for the assistance of Benjamin Wilson, firearms project manager at ATF’s Office of Laboratory Services. The committee’s analyses, described in Chapter 8, required image acquisition and analysis by staff at ATF’s Ammendale, Maryland, laboratory; we appreciate the effort of firearms examiner Martin Ols and the other ATF examiners who contributed to this work. We also appreciate the initial guidance to our work provided by Robert Thompson and by Patricia Galupo, former director of the NIBIN program. ATF afforded the committee and staff the opportunity to participate in a meeting of its NIBIN Users’ Congress, which proved most valuable. In March 2005, a nondisclosure agreement was negotiated between Forensic Technology WAI Inc. (FTI) and the National Academies to facilitate a site visit to FTI’s headquarters in Montréal by selected members of the committee. FTI is the creator and manufacturer of the equipment and software (IBIS) used by the nation’s forensic laboratories to create and maintain a database of ballistic images consisting of evidence collected from crime scenes or confiscated during arrests. The nondisclosure agreement
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Ballistic Imaging covered information about this system that FTI and the National Academies Office of Legal Counsel agreed are proprietary within the meaning of Exemption 4 of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552(b)(4). The meeting, which took place at FTI’s offices in Montreal on March 22, provided a detailed understanding of the features and capabilities of the imaging technology developed by FTI. Only information that was not designated as proprietary information is included, referenced, or quoted in this final report. The committee is grateful to FTI for its cooperation and for the high degree of professionalism and scientific competence it demonstrated at this meeting. We are particularly grateful for a thoughtful and candid discussion with FTI technical staff; both Michael McLean, project manager for the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS), and Pete Gagliardi, vice president of marketing and strategic planning, took special interest in the committee’s work and provided much useful information. Along with McLean, Alain Beauchamp gave a useful presentation at a committee meeting and responded to other committee requests for information. We appreciate the contributions of other past and present FTI staff, including Robert Walsh, chairman and president; René Bélanger, vice president and general manager; John O’Neil, firearms examiner consultant; Michael Clamen; Cybele Daley; Tim Heaney; Serge Labrecque; and Danny Roberge. Gerald Zeosky, inspector and director of the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center (FIC), and John Hicks, director of forensic services for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, were invited to a committee meeting to describe their state’s Combined Ballistic Information System (CoBIS), a state-level reference ballistic image database. Following that presentation, both men then invited the committee and staff to the FIC in Albany to perform experimental runs on the CoBIS database. During that visit (and a follow-up visit by committee staff), FIC staff gave freely of their time and talent; for this, we are particularly grateful to Rebecca Barretta, James Campbell, Mike D’Allaird, Craig Grazier, and Mark Heller. Similarly, a presentation to the committee by deputy chief Denis McCarthy of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) led to an invitation to visit and perform limited analyses using the NYPD’s ballistic image database, which uses the same technology as the NIBIN program but is not directly linked. At that visit to the NYPD crime laboratory in Jamaica, Queens, Lt. James Kenny, commanding officer of the firearms analysis section, and detective Anthony Pellicio, firearms examiner and microscopist were extremely helpful. Over the course of the study, every committee member visited at least one NIBIN installation at a state or local law enforcement agency, and various members also visited the ATF national laboratories in Ammendale,
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Ballistic Imaging Maryland, and Walnut Creek, California. We thank all involved for their time and talent. Subgroups of the committee also visited firearms and ammunition manufacturers and developers of microstamping technologies. We are grateful to all those who helped make the visits smooth and informative, including from Federal Cartridge Company, Gary Svendsen, Mike Larsen, Mike Hollen, Ken Croteau, and Rick Vickerman; from Hi-Point Firearms, Tom Deeb; and from Beretta Firearms, Jeffrey Reh, general counsel. Todd Lizotte of Hitachi Via Electronics attended a committee meeting and generously spent time discussing the microstamping of firing pins and other firearms parts at his facility in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Ammunition Coding Systems, a Seattle-based firm acting as a proponent of a methodology for microstamping ammunition that was then under active consideration by the California legislature, convened a very helpful session with the firm’s staff and related contractors in Seattle for a group of committee members. We thank Steven Mace, Russell Ford, John Knickerbocker, David Howell, Patrick Grace, and Paul Curry for their guidance in that meeting. We also appreciate the participation of Randy Rossi, California Department of Justice, in the Seattle subcommittee discussion. Ann Davis, Virginia Division of Forensic Sciences, was president of the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) when our committee began operations. She offered comments at our first meeting and assembled a liaison committee to interact with the committee as needed; for these contributions, we are grateful. Lucien Haag (Forensic Science Services, Inc., Carefree, Arizona) attended and participated in a panel discussion at a committee meeting in Chandler, Arizona, and subsequently discussed trials that he had performed on microstamped firing pins for a committee meeting in Washington; we thank him for the information he shared with us. We appreciate the time taken by other experts to present issues to our committee, including Kenneth Green of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc., and Marianne Hinkle, former assistant U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts. At the committee’s meeting in Chandler, Arizona—hosted by committee vice chair Eugene Meieran at Intel Corporation—we made use of the fact that several NIBIN sites are located in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Representatives of the various NIBIN-hosting law enforcement agencies participated in a very useful panel discussion: they included Judie Welch, Eric Brown, and Randy Leister of the Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory; Patrick Chavez of the City of Mesa Crime Laboratory; Steve Valdez of the City of Scottsdale Crime Laboratory; Dustin Engel of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office; and Vince Figarelli and Lisa Peloza of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Emily Ann Meyer provided initial literature collection for the committee during her service as a research associate with the National Materials
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Ballistic Imaging Advisory Board (NMAB). Michael Siri, senior program assistant with the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) deftly provided logistical support to the committee in the later phases of its work; he was preceded as program assistant and coordinator for the committee’s activities by Ralph Patterson during his tenure with the Committee on Law and Justice. Special thanks are due to Barbara Boyd for pinch-hitting as program assistant for one of our committee meetings during a gap in staffing and for generally providing back-up assistance when needed. Toni Marechaux, former director of the NMAB, contributed to the formation of the committee and its early work, and we have also benefited from the counsel of Constance Citro, CNSTAT director, and Jane Ross, director of the Center for Economic, Governance, and International Studies of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. We were extremely fortunate to have two experienced and extremely capable individuals as staff: Carol Petrie and Daniel Cork. Carol was particularly helpful in the process of forming the committee, managing the panel’s consultations with its sponsor and other external parties, organizing meetings, and stewarding this report through the Academies’ review process. Dan managed much of the panel’s analytic work and had primary responsibility for drafting the report. Together they organized the work of the committee and guided its evaluation of the NIBIN program and its consideration of a national reference ballistic image database. To say we have benefited enormously from their talents and knowledge and are very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them is a considerable understatement. Regardless of the committee’s expertise and commitment, this report would have significantly less value than we believe it does have, but for Carol’s and Dan’s contributions. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: William A. Ellingson, Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory; David L. Faigman, Hastings College of Law, University of California, San Francisco; Stephen E. Fienberg, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University; Barry A.J. Fisher, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Laboratory, Los Angeles, California; David C. Hoaglin, Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts; Paul
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Ballistic Imaging F. Johnson, Emeritus Professor of Ceramic Engineering, Alfred University, Alfred, New York; Alan F. Karr, Director’s Office, National Institute of Statistical Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; Diane Lambert, Google, Inc., New York, New York; Lyle H. Schwartz, Consultant, Chevy Chase, Maryland; Pete Striupaitis, Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory, Vernon Hills, Illinois; Charles F. Wellford, Department of Criminology, University of Maryland; and James Q. Wilson, School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of the report was overseen by John C. Bailar, III, Professor Emeritus, Department of Health Studies, The University of Chicago, and Hyla S. Napadensky, Office of President, Napadensky Energetics, Inc., Grand Marais, Minnesota. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution. John E. Rolph, Chair Eugene S. Meieran, Vice Chair Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database
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Ballistic Imaging Contents Executive Summary 1 Part I Context for Ballistic Imaging Analysis 1 Introduction 11 2 Firearms and Ammunition: Physics, Manufacturing, and Sources of Variability 30 3 Firearms Identification and the Use of Ballistic Evidence 53 Part II Current Ballistic Imaging and Databases 4 Current Ballistic Imaging Technology 91 5 Current Ballistic Image Databases: NIBIN and the State Reference Databases 133 6 Operational and Technical Enhancements to NIBIN 162 7 Three-Dimensional Measurement and Ballistic Imaging 186 Part III Implications for a National Reference Ballistic Image Database 8 Experimental Evidence on Sources of Variability and Imaging Standards 199 9 Feasibility of a National Reference Ballistic Image Database 223
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Ballistic Imaging Part IV Future Directions 10 Microstamping: Alternative Technology for Tracing to Point of Sale 255 11 Best Standards for Future Developments in Computer-Assisted Firearms Identification 272 References 281 Appendixes A Gun Enforcement and Ballistic Imaging Technology in Boston Anthony A. Braga 293 B Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff 312
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Ballistic Imaging Tables, Figures, and Boxes TABLES 1-1 Gun Homicides and Crime Gun Recoveries in 32 Cities in 2000, 25 4-1 Summary Results of George Study of IBIS Cartridge Case Comparison Performance, 114 4-2 Summary Results of Forensic Technology WAI, Inc., Benchmark Evaluation, 120 5-1 NIBIN Usage Data, May 2003–April 2004, 152 8-1 Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Two-Dimensional/IBIS Analysis of DKT Exhibit Set, 208 8-2 Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Three-Dimensional/NIST Analysis of DKT Exhibit Set, 209 8-3 Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Two-Dimensional/IBIS Analysis of NBIDE Exhibit Set, 210 8-4 Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Three-Dimensional/NIST Analysis of NBIDE Exhibit Set, 211 8-5 Summary of IBIS Comparisons for Full 144-Exhibit NBIDE Set, 213 8-6 Summary of Overlap Metrics for Three-Dimensional Images, 215 8-7 IBIS Comparison Results, DKT Exhibit Set Extract in CoBIS Database, 220
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Ballistic Imaging 9-1 Firearms Manufactured in and Exported from the United States, 2002–2004, 225 9-2 Values of K(α) for Various Configurations of N and α for the Optimistic Scenario, 248 9-3 Values of K(α) for Various Configurations of N and α for the Pessimistic Scenario, 249 9-4 Values of K(α) for Various Configurations of n1 − 1, n2, Δ1, Δ2, and α for the Optimistic Scenario, 250 9-5 Values of K(α) for Various Configurations of n1 − 1, n2, Δ1, Δ2, and α for the Pessimistic Scenario, 251 A-1 Staffing Levels of the Boston Police Department Ballistics Unit, 1993–2003, 300 A-2 Crime Types in 104 Sets of Boston IBIS-Suggested Matches, 303 A-3 Results of Information Linked by IBIS-Suggested Matches on Investigations by Boston Law Enforcement Agencies, 2003, 305 FIGURES 1-1 Crimes committed with firearms, 1973–2003, 23 1-2 Firearms crime rates, 1973–2003, 24 1-3 Homicides committed with firearms, 1973–2003, 24 2-1 Breech faces with firing pin holes: Two firearms, 33 2-2 Breech face markings and firing pin impressions for three ammunition types and two firearm brands, 42 4-1 IBIS breech face images, 99 4-2 Sample “cover sheet:” Top 10 ranking report from an IBIS comparison, 105 4-3 Sample matched pairs of breech face and firing pin images, 119 5-1 Geographic distribution of NIBIN sites, 140 8-1 IBIS two-dimensional images and rendered three-dimensional surfaces, breech face, and firing pin impressions from one casing, 205 8-2 Empirical distribution of matching and nonmatching pairwise comparisons, 214 A-1 Types of investigative information linked by IBIS-suggested matches, 296 A-2 Boston Police Department ballistics matches, 1990–2003, 299
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Ballistic Imaging A-3 Serious gun crime incidents in Boston, 1990–2003, 299 A-4 Recovered handguns in Boston, 1991–2003, 302 BOXES 1-1 “Ballistics” Terminology, 15 1-2 Content of a Reference Ballistic Image Database, 16 2-1 Nonfiring Manufacturing Marks, 51 3-1 Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) Theory of Identification and Range of Conclusions, 59 3-2 Examples of Subclass Carryover, 61 3-3 Highlights in the History of Traditional Firearms Identification, 62 3-4 Recent Court Decisions: “To the Exclusion of All Other Guns,” 83 4-1 “IBIS” Terminology, 94 4-2 CSI Ballistic Imaging, 125 5-1 Criteria for Participation in the NIBIN Program, 135 5-2 DRUGFIRE, 136 5-3 NIBIN Definition of “Hit,” 151 6-1 Recommendations from 2005 U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Audit of NIBIN Program, 164 6-2 New York City Police Department “Fast Brass” Processing, 171 8-1 Design of Test-Fire Cartridge Sets, 201 8-2 Exhibit Set Tested in Work with CoBIS Database, 219 9-1 Tracing Guns, 228
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