On 31 May, the Guardian carried an article saying that in a study participants found more or less evidence on hard drive depending on what contextual information they had. It found that experts tended to find more or less evidence on a suspect’s computer hard drive to implicate or exonerate them depending on the contextual information about the investigation that they were given. Even those presented with the same information often reached different conclusions about the evidence. Digital evidence now features in around 90% of criminal cases. It says that the study, soon to be published in Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, found that the examiners who had been led to believe the suspect might be innocent documented the fewest traces of evidence in the files, while those who knew of a potential motive identified the most traces. It also found low levels of consistency between examiners who were given the same contextual information, in terms of the observations, interpretations and conclusions they drew from the files.
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