Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
U.S. Expanding Fingerprint Efforts –
CBS NEWS - April 2, 2004
... program requiring foreigners to be fingerprinted before entering
the country is being expanded to include America's closest allies...
Fingerprints on Bottle Solved 23-Year Old Murder Case –
INTELLIGENCER, WA - Mar 30, 2004
... an empty bottle that sat for years
in the police identification section helped solve case...
Forensic Investigators Use All Their Senses –
- Mar 30, 2004
...each forensic science discipline is
complementary, says New Zealand expert…
Fingerprint Lock –
ELECTRIC NEWS NET - Mar
29, 2004 ...Fingerprint
Lock is said to be so accurate that it has only a one in 1 million
chance of opening up to the wrong print…
It's time for the 2004 CLPEX.com T-shirt logo
contest! E-mail your suggestions to
firstname.lastname@example.org by noon next Sunday, and I'll post the top 10 next
Monday morning for voting.
Science in the Daubert World"
October 29-30, 2004
Las Vegas, Nevada
American Board of Forensic Document Examiners
is still here and continues to play a pivotal role in the world of expert
opinion testimony. Various forensic sciences, such as Documents, Fingerprints,
Shoe/Tire, and Firearms/Toolmarks have not been immune to these challenges.
During a Daubert hearing, the trial judge serves as a “gatekeeper” and must
determine whether the expected trial testimony has a reliable basis in the
knowledge and experience of the relevant discipline. In assessing the
reliability of an expert’s testimony, the court may consider the following:
Whether the technique or methodology
has been or can be tested
Whether the technique or methodology
has been subjected to peer review
Known or potential error rates
Existence of standards controlling
the technique’s operation
Extent to which the methodology or
technique employed by the expert is generally accepted in the scientific
The factors as laid out by the Daubert Court, although not intended to be
a checklist, are routinely being utilized as such by the “gatekeeper”. The
expert and the attorney must be prepared to present and discuss each factor.
Failure to adequately address each of these may result in the exclusion of the
expert’s testimony, or in the alternative, limiting the testimony of the expert
Since the mid-1990’s, the disciplines of Questioned Documents and Fingerprints
have each undergone several challenges. Recently other disciplines (e.g.
Firearms/Tool marks) have started to face their own Daubert challenges. As
demonstrated at the 2002 multi-discipline seminar, “The Daubert World: Past,
Present and Future”, issues facing one discipline are often relevant to others.
Successes and/or failures provide numerous lessons for all of the “comparative”
Due to the overlap of issues, and the growth of Daubert challenges across
various disciplines, ABFDE has expanded upon the previous multi-discipline
program to include presentations on Documents and Latent Prints, as well as
Firearms/Toolmarks, and Shoe/Tire impressions. The issues are the same; the
only difference is the subject matter. We are all in this together.
An unprecedented group of speakers with varied backgrounds and expertise will
provide attendees with the knowledge and tools (i.e. the key) to meet these
challenges and to unlock the gate protected by the “gatekeepers”. “Comparative
Science in the Daubert World” has been designed to bring together the
perspectives of judges, attorneys, experts, researchers, and others.
Judge Stephanie Domitrovich (Erie
Dr. Moshe Kam (Drexel University)
Dr. Thomas Busey (Indiana)
Mr. John Vanderkolk (Indiana)
Mr. David Leta -AUSA (Atlanta,
Mr. Pat Wertheim (Tuscon, AZ)
Prof. William McComas (Univ. of
“Daubertized” forensic experts
(Federal, State, and Private)
The exclusive list of speakers will
discuss numerous issues pertaining to forensic science and Daubert, to include
A review of Frye and the Daubert
Judicial Expectations in Daubert
Preparing for a Daubert Hearing
What is science?
Overview of the various forensic
“comparative” sciences vs. Daubert
Expert/Attorney relationship in
preparing for a Daubert challenge
Discovery requests (Rule 16-Fed.
Rules of Evid.)
Research in Forensic Science –
Meeting the Daubert Factors
$325 per person by September 10th ($400 after Sept. 11, 2004)
Class size is limited to 150.
Check payable, in U.S. funds, to
“ABFDE” or government voucher must accompany registration form.
Registration forms (see below) and payments should be mailed to:
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
22433 Randolph Drive
Phone: (703) 406-7103
Fax: (703) 406-7111
Cancellation Refund Policy
4 - weeks notice 100%
2-4 weeks notice 50%
2 weeks or less 25%
*Substitutions must be approved.
registration and transportation charges are the responsibility of the
The Orleans Hotel & Casino
4500 W. Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89103
Reservations must be made Mon-Fri
7AM-11PM Pacific Time or Sat-Sun between 9AM-5PM Pacific Time.
When making reservations you must identify yourself as an attendee of the LVMPD
Room Rates: $59 Thursday/ $99
ABFDE reserves the right to cancel
the seminar, with full refund, if there are an insufficient number of
The seminar is open to ABFDE diplomates; members of ASQDE, SWAFDE, SAFDE, AAFS (QD-section),
CSFS, MAAFS, and MAFS; full-time examiners in Latent Print, Shoe/Tire marks, or
Firearm/Tool marks.. Requests from applicants not meeting the listed
requirements above will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Last week, Paul Brannon shared a recent find
regarding latent print documentation. This week, Joe Polski, Chief
Operations Officer for the IAI and Chairperosn for the CFSO, relates that
we (as a discipline) need every bit of data we can possibly gather in order to present an accurate
summary of the needs and state of various forensic non-DNA disciplines to the
U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Below are his comments:
As you may know, recent legislation passed by the United States Senate
Appropriations Committee directed that the forensic science organizations
represented by the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO) compile a
needs analysis of forensic science beyond DNA. DNA has received much publicity,
very deservedly, but it is the CFSO’s view that there are many other forensic
disciplines that contribute to the criminal justice system and those must not be
forgotten. The text of the Senate language is as follows:
Forensic Capabilities - The National Institute of Justice [NIJ], in conjunction
with its own Office of Science & Technology, the American Society of Crime Lab
Directors, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the International
Association for Identification, and the National Association of Medical
Examiners, is directed to develop a plan which will address the needs of the
crime lab and medical examiner community beyond the ‘‘DNA Initiative’’ and
report back to the Committees on Appropriations no later than 180 days from the
date of enactment of this Act. The report should address the following: (1)
manpower and equipment needs, (2) continuing education policies, (3)
professionalism and accreditation standards, and (4) the level of collaboration
needed between Federal forensic science labs and State/local forensic science
Labs for the administration of justice.
The CFSO is composed of the IAI, the
American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) and the National
Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). It is most unusual that individual
associations are named in federal legislation but that is what has occurred.
Each organization was asked to name three people to serve on a committee to
prepare a needs assessment of certain disciplines represented by their
organization. IAI President Jan Johnson appointed Mike Campbell, Joe Polski and
herself to this committee as the IAI’s representatives. The IAI will compile
data for Pattern Evidence (Fingerprints, Footwear/Tiretrack etc.), Crime Scene
Investigation and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and prepare a report and
presentation for a Summit Meeting to be held May 18 and 19 in Washington, DC.
The committee is in the process of gathering
information respecting the above disciplines. We are especially interested in
data from those agencies where forensic identification services are not part of
a crime laboratory. Much data has been collected from crime laboratories but
very little from those units that operate, generally but not always, within
police or sheriff’s departments and are not part of a crime lab. We hope to
raise the profile of those types of service providers and their needs.
Attached is a short questionnaire that will assist us in preparing our report to
Congress. Please take a few minutes to complete the requested information and
send it back via e-mail to me at
In addition, we would very much appreciate if division secretaries or editors
would send this questionnaire to division members. Committee Chairs, please
forward this on to your committee members for, hopefully, their response.
We need this information as soon as possible but no later than
April 20, 2004. Don’t hesitate to
contact any of the committee members by phone or e-mail if you have any
questions. If you do not have answers to all questions, please answer those you
can. We also realize some of the questions ask for statistics that may be
unavailable but if you can provide a relatively close estimate, we appreciate
it. Please note that agencies will not be individually identified. We will
only use summary data. If your agency chooses to remain anonymous, that’s
fine. We would like to know who completes the survey so we can make contact if
there are any questions.
Thank you in advance for your response to this
survey. Please contact any committee member or me at the number shown below if
you have any questions.
The IAI 180 Day Study
Captain of Police,
Milwaukee Police Dept.
Phone: (414) 630-9670
Forensic Specialist Trainer
Escambia Co. Sheriff's Office
Phone: (850) 554-1287
Chief Operations Officer
International Association for Identification
2535 Pilot Knob Road, Suite 117
Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1120
Phone: (651) 681-8566
Fax: (651) 681-8443
To discuss this Detail,
message board is always open: (http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2)
More formal latent print discussions are available at
FUNNY FINGERPRINT FIND
Comments on LATENT PRINTS...
"A charcoal carbon-based powder sticks to the amino acids left behind, and
print is then lifted..."
Submitted by Jon Stimac
Overcome delegation anxiety
Delegation is an ideal way to develop employees' talents and abilities while
allowing you to work on important tasks. So why are people often reluctant
to delegate? Here are some common reasons for not delegating and ways to
"The employee won't do it as well as I can." Don't expect a
staffer to perform at the same level as you. Think about how well you
performed the task when it was new to you. With training and experience,
your staff members will improve. In the mean time, remind yourself to
accept less than perfect performance.
"It's what I've always done." The more often you perform a
task the more habitual it becomes. Form a new habit: Every day, spend 15
minutes training a team member to perform a newly delegated task.
"My employees are too busy.to take on additional tasks."
What are they busy doing? Re-evaluate your staffers' workloads.
Don't let them waste valuable time on unimportant tasks. Instead of
feeling guilty about giving them more work, remember that you're giving them
Indispensable Employee, Eric Weber,
via Communication Briefings,
January 2004, 800.722.9221, briefings.com.
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
Posted 180 day survey forms and Daubert Seminar registration forms
Added two new smileys to the SmileyFiles
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!