T H E
D E T A I L
Monday, June 24, 2002
BREAKING NEWz you can
Historical Outing in Southern England -22
Jun 2002 -by Kasey Wertheim-
As many of you know, I am beginning the third week of
Ridgeology training here in England. You won't believe what I came across
during my weekend outing with Dave Charlton!...
Airlines Plan Quick System for Identifying Passengers
By Robert O'Harrow Jr.,
Washington Post Staff Writer,
Saturday, June 22, 2002; Page E01
Several airlines have begun working on plans for
a passenger identification system that would rely on background checks,
fingerprints, iris scans and high-tech IDs to verify individuals' identities and
speed security screening at airports.
Adobe Photoshop Print Charting Used in
California VanDam Trial -June
21, 2002 (side note: Good
job, Jeffrey Graham and San Diego PD on the original ident!) From the
article: "[Pat] Wertheim gave jurors a computer slide show on fingerprint
analysis and showed them ridge by ridge how the prints from the RV matched
identically Danielle's. "There is complete consistency," Wertheim repeated
each time he compared the ridges, creases and points. [The Defendant],
Westerfield seemed rapt by Wertheim's colorful Powerpoint [PhotoShop]
presentation. He turned his chair and stared intently toward a projection screen
on the courtroom wall." (Full Story: CourtTV.com:
Girl's prints found in Westerfield's RV)
(the presentation is not video archived on
Court TV. I have an e-mail in to CTV asking to post an archive video of the
Photoshop demonstration and Pat's testimony, as they have done with the Mother's
testimony, Father's testimony, DNA testimony, etc.. Perhaps it would help if
those of you who are interested in seeing the presentation of that
identification also filled out the CourtTV feedback form at the bottom of the
linked page above)
Good morning via the "Detail," a weekly e-mail newsletter that
greets latent print examiners around the globe every Monday morning. The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you
informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to
provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to
announce important events as they happen in our field.
Last week, we looked at
an e-logue on certification propriety. This week we see the final
Recommendations of the Fingerprint Forum, held in Chicago, Illinois on April
29-30, 2002. As you already know, the Forum was hosted by the IAI, along with West Virginia
University, to bring together concerned members of the fingerprint community
to fully explore the ramifications of Daubert and other court decisions,
and to chart a course of action for the future. As a result of
recent legal challenges in court, the agenda was designed to address issues
including: "How to establish the scientific basis of fingerprint identification
(in court), standards for fingerprint
identification, sufficiency of matching criteria,
methodological and practitioner error, ten print identification vs. latent
identification, etc." The meeting consisted of invited representatives of
the IAI, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS),
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), SWGFAST, National
Institute of Justice (NIJ), the FBI's Laboratory and Criminal Justice
Information System's (CJIS) Division, National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), The Canadian Identification Society, The Fingerprint Society,
Chicago Fingerprint Forum –
This forum recognizes the
reliability of friction ridge identification as practiced during the
last 100 years. As scientists, we encourage education of the judiciary
and the general public on the existing theoretical and empirical
foundations of friction ridge impression evidence. In addition, we
encourage continued scientific research, and collaboration with the
larger scientific community, to further investigate and strengthen those
Research/Study – Friction Ridge Impressions
An initial project should take the form of the
generation and publication of a sourcebook for friction ridge
which would provide educational, training, and research resources for
the international scientific community.
Continual evaluative/critical reviews of the state of the science are
Novel research to assess the reliability of friction ridge impression
examinations is also encouraged and should include impressions that
address both the quality and quantity of ridge detail included in Levels
1, 2, and 3 details.
2. Existence &
Maintenance of Standards
and standards exist for the science of friction ridge examination. It is
recommended that the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge
Analysis, Study, and Technology (SWGFAST) continue to compile,
promulgate, and disseminate consensus guidelines and standards in
cooperation with the international friction ridge community.
It is recommended that standard reference material (SRM) be created for
use in research, development, and maintenance.
It is recommended that all friction
ridge/fingerprint examiners be made aware of the education and training
standards promulgated by SWGFAST
and the Technical Working Group on Forensic Science Education and
Training (TWGED) and meet or exceed those standards. In addition,
friction ridge/fingerprint examiners, when eligible, should become
certified through competency-based certification programs (FBI, IAI,
RCMP, etc.), and maintain that certification throughout their working
career. Funding should be sought to support the certification of all
eligible friction ridge/fingerprint examiners.
Over the next two weeks, we will discuss the Vegas Daubert Symposium and
courtroom charting. I will TRY to format an internet version of a
comparison similar to the Adobe Photoshop identification I charted out for use
the VanDam trial, mentioned in the Breaking NeWz section above. I don't
know how well it will translate into web images, but I'll give it my best shot.
If anyone has any strong feelings on whether or not courtroom demonstrations
should be used to show the jury 1) the identification process AND/OR 2) the
actual identification in that case, write up a paragraph (or page) or two for me
to include in next week's Detail. You know where to reach me:
As usual, for informal banter about the weekly Detail, visit
board (http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2) And the onin.com forum (http://onin.com/fp/wwwbd/)
is available for more formal discussion.
CLPEX.com this week...
No major updates on the site this week.
Feel free to pass the link to The Detail along to other examiners. This is a
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!