No website updates this week
No announcements either
we looked at the Frontline broadcast related to forensic science
we look at some recently posted SWGFAST documents
STANDARD FOR THE REVIEW OF TESTIMONY OF FRICTION RIDGE EXAMINERS
Testimony review is a required component of a Quality Assurance Program.
Testimony review evaluates the performance of the examiner in legal proceedings. Each examiner whose duties include providing testimony shall have their testimony reviewed at least annually.
2 Testimony Review
2.1 The minimum criteria to be reviewed shall include whether the examiner effectively:
· Prepared for trial.
· Exhibited professional demeanor and appearance.
· Described their qualifications, duties, and analysis.
· Demonstrated verbal and non-verbal communication.
· Testified within the limits of their expertise.
· Conveyed scientific results to the court.
· Presented testimony in an un-biased manner.
· Presented demonstrative exhibits.
2.2 Testimony review mechanisms may consist of any of the following:
· Use of a testimony evaluation form (sample form in Appendix A)
· Communication with court officials
· Review of written transcript, video, or audio recording of testimony
· Personal observation of testimony
2.3 If testimony is not given during the year, that fact shall be documented.
2.4 The testimony review form will be discussed with the examiner.
The testimony procedure should also prescribe the corrective action that is to be taken should the review be less than satisfactory.
POSITION STATEMENT ON THE ROLE OF AFIS RANKS
AND SCORES AND THE ACE-V PROCESS
Standard AFIS ranks and scores cannot currently be considered a mathematical model for
assessing the likelihood or probability that a subject deposited a particular friction ridge
impression. The purpose of this document is to clarify that AFIS ranks and scores have no role in
formulating and stating conclusions based on ACE-V.
Ranks and scores are mechanisms of an AFIS system that provide information about a particular
search relative to prospective candidates whose impressions are contained in the AFIS database.
They provide possible matching candidates as determined by automated search mechanisms to
AFIS does not replace the human expert role in Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, or Verification
(ACE-V). It is inappropriate to use AFIS scores in lieu of Evaluation or Verification decisions. If
testifying in court to having followed the ACE-V methodology in response to a “lights-out” AFIS
identification, the examiner must have performed a traditional ACE examination separate from the
system determination. Additionally a second examiner must have conducted a Verification. This
would also apply to searching latent prints in an AFIS database. A latent print examiner cannot
use an AFIS system result as the verification step of ACE-V.
INDIVIDUALIZATION / IDENTIFICATION
It is the position of SWGFAST that “individualization” is synonymous with the term “identification” as used
in friction ridge examination. Both are defined as: “the decision by an examiner that there are sufficient
discriminating friction ridge features in agreement to conclude that two areas of friction ridge impressions
originated from the same source. Individualization of an impression to one source is the decision that the
likelihood the impression was made by another (different) source is so remote that it is considered as a
practical impossibility” (SWGFAST Standards for Examining Friction Ridge Impressions and Resulting
Conclusions 9/13/11 ver 1.0 posted 10/26/11).
The term individualization was originally introduced in latent print examinations to provide a more specific
term than identification. In the friction ridge community, identification has historically meant association
with a specific individual, while in some forensic disciplines it is used to denote the correspondence of
SWGFAST recognizes that individualization has been used within the latent print community to mean “to
the exclusion of all others”. The ability of a latent print examiner to individualize a single latent
impression, with the implication that they have definitively excluded all other humans in the world, is not
supported by research and was removed from SWGFAST’s definition of individualization.
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!