Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
Cleared Perjury-Case Detective To Be Sued –
SCOTSMAN, UK - June 25, 2004
...Shirley McKie was wrongly accused
of perjury for maintaining that a fingerprint found at a murder
scene was not hers - she now faces the legal bill...
Police Commissioner Eyes Penalty vs. Print Technician –
BOSTON HERALD, MA - June 25, 2004
...the Boston police will investigate
whether a technician who helped wrongly convict an alleged cop
shooter should be punished...
Fingerprinting Goes High-tech –
- June 25, 2004
...agency said goodbye to
ink-fingerprints when it unveiled a new state-of-the-art palm and
In Texas Program, Medicaid Patients Give Fingerprints –
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, TX - June 25, 2004
...patients are part of a program to
use collected fingerprints to clear them for treatment/visits...
Last week, Craig Coppock shared some thoughts regarding objectivity in the
comparison process. This week, I need some perspective on an issue that
several people have asked me about over the last few months. I come from
an agency where this was never an issue, but I am hearing some discussion about
external verification. Let's examine the issue through a scenario that is
not based on anything except my imagination (that I know of). This week's
Detail involves more questions than answers... provokes more thought than
relates detail... and hopefully will prompt discussion to benefit those who
participate, regardless of whether they participate by posting or by reading the
message board (or by contacting me privately)
Examiner performs ACE and finds sufficient uniqueness in sequence to
individualize the only latent print in a major case; makes notes to this effect
and turns in the case to a reviewer in the same agency
Suspect is one of many suspects; police don't have any other evidence
Print is on an object that has probative value in the case
Reviewer(s) of the case find agreement of ridge formations present, but not
sufficient to individualize.
There are no additional latent print examiners available within the agency to
review the results.
Examiner formally asks to seek outside (of the agency) verification
Examiner's request is denied by administration
Examiner expresses grief because of confidence in the determination of
Agency holds ground
Suspect is not charged
So what are you thinking so far? Heartburn? Should procedures be in
place to allow external review? Should procedures be in place to prevent
external review? Why?
Let's continue the hypothetical scenario...
Suspect commits another sexual assault/homicide; case 2
Suspect is linked to case 1 through other case information
An ethical, competent, independent examiner hired by the defense reviews both
Independent examiner identifies, has verified, and reports the identification
from case 1
This is "discovered" by the prosecution and used in trial for both crimes
Subsequent image publication reveals to you that it was a "tough"
but good match
Victim's family in the first case file a lawsuit against the department using
the case notes of the examiner
Examiner testifies for the prosecution "I knew it matched and was grieved but
Agency position: "we followed policy"
Family's position: "bad policy kills"
Possible questions to answer on the message board:
Is this scenario realistic or unrealistic? Why?
Do you know of a case with a similar scenario? If so, for research sake, I
would be interested in details e-mailed privately
Would you have responded differently if you were the examiner? The
What term(s) would you use to describe the Examiner? (right? wrong?
correct? incorrect?) Should the examiner be disciplined? issued an
apology? promoted? fired? congratulated?
What term(s) would you use to describe the Reviewer? (right? wrong? correct?
Should the reviewer be disciplined? how?
If you were an administrator, would you change the policy? How would it
Feel free to e-mail me personally if you don't want your comments posted.
I intend to present this and other concepts in St. Louis. General thoughts
from the message board may be referenced without permission being asked, but no
specific references or quotations will be used. Specific concepts or
excerpts from private e-mail may be referenced and cited, with permission from
the author of course.
If you post, try to follow "threads" and keep like thoughts together.
Also, before you start typing consider what you are going to say and type a
short, specific, basic, and focused subject line entry about your response:
A few things about subject lines (to keep post events
semi-organized and searchable):
1) keep them short. With many replies, long subject lines may wrap 2-3
times and take up valuable screen space
2) make them specific. Interested parties should not have to click on
your thread to know generally what it is about
3) distill to the basics. It should be specific and detailed, yet
distilled to it's most basic form
4) stay focused on the concept. A reply should answer a question or build
on a previous comment. For new concepts, start a new "reply" to the "LIVE"
parent thread or appropriate sub-thread and label the subject line accordingly.
Message Board tip: if you are reading a thread and want to go back to the main
message board thread page, click the "BBS Index" button at the bottom left
corner of the screen.
Enjoy the CLPEX message board!
To discuss this Detail, the
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
"When are you going to start
those Funny Finds back up again... that was all I ever read!"
-Truthful in Texas
Back by popular demand! But the folder's empty... Send 'em on in!!
Anybody want to be FFF coordinator? Truthful? :) It would
involve searching for and finding FFF's.
Management circle will return next week
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
Updated the Detail Archives.
Disabled the guestbook hyperlinks due to flaming vulgar hacking half-wits...
that unfortunately know more about html than I do.
Feel free to pass The Detail along to other
examiners. This is a free newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY latent
print examiners. There are no copyrights on The Detail, and the website is open
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!