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Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics: Examining and Interpreting Forensic Evidence (Developments in Forensic Science) Hardcover – 30 Oct 2008
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"I would strongly recommend that this book be made available to practicing firearms examiners, laboratory directors, others interested in this field of science and attorneys." (AFTE Journals, 2011)
"Brian Heard provides readers with a sophisticated forensic interest in firearms with a hugely detailed and authoritative ‘state of the art′ manual of all aspects of firearms and ballistics . . . Neil Davison also provides us with a detailed, thorough, and an authoritative manual on the huge variety of ‘non–lethal′ weapons that are available, in development, or whose development has been terminated or fallen into abeyance." (A Journal of Policy and Practice, 16 February 2011)
"This second edition of the Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics is welcomed, particularly given the lack of collected research elsewhere." (The Howard Journal, February 2010)
From the Inside Flap
In cases involving the use, or suspected use, of a firearm, every aspect of the firearm or ammunition has strong evidential value but what to look for, what any evidence found actually means and how compelling that evidence is can involve very technical elements which are confusing to the non–expert. While startling advancements in modern scientific analysis have allowed forensic laboratories to produce sophisticated results, these advancements have also increased the gulf between the expert and the layperson who is required to interpret the findings. Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics addresses these issues in a very clear and accessible manner and removes the mystique which surrounds this fascinating subject. The author first traces the worldwide use and development of firearms and ammunition before going on to examine questions such as:
- from what distance from the target was the weapon fired?
- is there any trace evidence that proves the accused handled a particular weapon?
- do the marks on a particular bullet prove that it was fired from a specific weapon?
- what information on the origin of a bullet can be gleaned from the headstamp markings?
- is it possible for an erased serial number to be restored?
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Top Customer Reviews
Brian J Heard
(John Wiley and Sons Ltd; Oxford 2008).
Book review by Sally Ramage
John Wiley and Sons has a series of Handbooks written by forensic experts. The aim is to explain to the layperson, including judges, solicitors and barristers, scientific expert knowledge. Firearms are a contemporary topic and the public needs to understand the state of firearms knowledge today. However, it is a fallacy to think that lawyers did not always grasp such expert knowledge. Case law shows that there have been very eloquent and astute cross-examination in courts where the case was won because of the barrister's good grasp of such knowledge and ably transmitting this to the jury.
Remembering the 1878 case of Charles Peace who was charged with shooting a Blackheath police officer with intent to murder, and who nearly escaped being charged because John and William Hebron were charged with killing police officer Nicholas Cook on 1st August 1878. The Hebron brothers were the original suspects because they had been heard to make threats to kill the police officer Cook for that it matched a boot worn by the older Hebron brothers. Apart from ballistic expert evidence, this 1878 case must have been the first ever shoeprint case, some 130 years before the established police shoeprint database.
Evidence was called to prove that William Hebron had tried to buy gun cartridges at a local ironmonger's. Evidence was called of someone who claimed to have seen William Hebron near the crime scene minutes before the police officer's death. However, there was evidence that the two brothers were working at a nursery at the time when one of them was alleged to be attempting to purchase the cartridges.Read more ›
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