Skill Acquisition in Saw Kerf Class Identification
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The qualifications of expert witnesses are under scrutiny following the Daubert ruling. However, there is little consensus as to what defines an expert in a forensic field. There is no designated definition of ‘expert’ that courts use to determine whether someone is qualified enough to be an expert witness, but level of education and years of experience are important factors. This work is a preliminary analysis of the rate of skill acquisition in regards to saw mark, or kerf mark, analysis. Some kerf marks could be learned and expertly identified by analysts in as little as 5 minutes, whereas other kerfs could not, even after 30 minutes of preparation. Our findings suggest that there are some concepts within kerf mark analysis that can be mastered with high accuracy and others that cannot.