A Welcome Exchange on the Scientific Status of Fingerprinting
Law, Probability and Risk, Vol. 7, pp. 85-86, 2007
2 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2009
Date Written: August 19, 2007
Ten years ago, the notion that a top academic journal should publish an exchange on the scientific validation of fingerprint evidence would have been a non-starter. Until then, all but a few self-interested defendants and defense attorneys believed that when a fingerprint examiner matched a crime scene print (a latent print) to a suspect’s reference print, the evidence was absolute and irrefutable. A fingerprint match proved identity if not guilt. Today, however, scientists, attorneys and others are taking a hard look at the forensic sciences in general and fingerprint evidence in particular. The oft-repeated claims that fingerprints are unique and that the source of fingerprint fragments can be identified with certainty have received special attention.
Keywords: Fingerprints, forensic sciences, evidence
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