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Voice Identification and Elimination using Aural-Spectrographic Protocols

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The use of spectrographic pattern matching and aural comparison in forensic voice identification requires careful control of examiner bias and an awareness of the principles of signal detection theory. This paper briefly reviews the history of the aural-spectrographic method and the experimental results of Oscar Tosi, and then summarizes the voice elimination and identification protocols addressed by Gruber and Poza (American Jurisprudence 54, 1995) and other authors. Given suitable voice exemplars, and prudent examination protocols, voice examiners can provide useful probative findings in the forensic setting. Opinions expressed in reports and in court room testimony should set forth the limitations of the technique so that the trier of fact can properly evaluate the examiner’s findings.

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