Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
Police Buy New Fingerprint Equipment –
DAILY AMERICAN REPUBLIC,
MO - June 24, 2005 ...some of
the more advanced methods of obtaining latent fingerprint evidence...
Experts Back Fingerprint Case Ex-Policewoman –
SCOTLAND TODAY, UK - June 28, 2005
...three experts have added their voices to calls for
an independent inquiry into the Shirley McKie case...
THE MANVILLE NEWS, NJ - June 30, 2005
police Detectives Michael Guilbert, Ronald Gazaway and John Crater
often use their crime lab...
Fingerprint Expert Resigns, Leaving City in Her Dust –
GRAND JUNCTION DAILY SENTINEL, CO - June 28, 2005
...expert is the latest in a series of
resignations at the Police Department...
The CLPEX.com Message Board is finally
operational. The transition to the new web servers was a bit more
problematic than expected, but issues are finally worked out and posts can
be done with no errors.
we looked at articles on a potential Daubert hearing
on simultaneous impressions and the report from Ron Smith and Associates
regarding the Stephan Cowans case. Unfortunately, when the Cowans article
was copied from the Boston Phoenix website, the bullet points around two of the
paragraphs copied as quotation marks into the Weekly Detail.
The original article is located at:
Specifically, Ron Smith said he received a barrage
of e-mails and telephone calls regarding specific statements that appeared to
have been made by him by the mis-printed quotation marks, but in fact they were
not in the report. For example, Ron's report never stated that "
was told to make the prints match.", but it could
appear from the way the quotations transferred to the front of the paragraph
that this might be the case. My apologies for the mis-perceptions
resulting from the transfer of the Boston Phoenix article from their website to
we continue to keep abreast of current latent print
related events with a major turn of events in the McKie case! SCRO
examiners go public and there is talk of out-of-court settlement. Even
more details are available on
www.shirleymckie.com, but here is some of the latest:
New Shirley McKie Case Developments
From Ian's McKie Updates:
* What a week that was !! As one of the most
momentous periods in our campaign comes to an end we are finally seeing a light
at the end of a very long tunnel with real hope that Shirley’s 8 year trauma is
coming to an end.
* The week started with the sensational revelation that 3 experts from Grampian
Police fingerprint bureau Gary Dempster, John Dingwall and John McGregor, had
published a report concluding that, ‘We are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt
that the mark disclosed on the crime scene photograph was not made by the left
thumb of Shirley McKie.’ They went on to express concern at the way the new
Scottish Fingerprint Service was being developed. ‘We believe that integrity and
openness are absolutely paramount to the future of fingerprint evidence in
Scotland.’ The report ended with a recommendation that there should be an
independent investigation into the whole case by experts from outside the UK
* At a packed media conference held in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on
Tuesday, Shirley and Iain flanked by long term supporters Michael Russell and
MSP’s Alasdair Morgan and Fergus Ewing spoke about the impact of the report -
the first comment by Scots experts since the ‘Lothian and Border’s 14’ were so
disgracefully treated in 2000 after asking for an enquiry. They praised the
experts for their honesty and integrity and expressed the hope that their Police
bosses would not seek to discipline the experts but would commend them for their
actions. Television, radio and newspaper coverage was extensive and Iain was
interviewed on ‘BBC Newsnight Scotland’
* Thursday brought the remarkable news that the Scottish Executive had
instructed its lawyers to enter into negotiations with Shirley’s legal team led
by QC Andrew Smith with a view to reaching a settlement. In what was clearly a
political initiative from the very top of Scottish government it was also
revealed that it has been admitted that the fingerprint, first identified by the
SCRO experts, is not Shirley’s and that this will be formally entered into next
years civil case court papers.
Fingerprint battle takes new turn
Shirley McKie has thanked the officers for supporting her.
The case of a former police officer at the centre of a six-year battle over a
fingerprint has taken a new twist.
Three experts from the Scottish Fingerprint Service obtained a copy of the
fingerprint evidence by accident.
They have concluded that the thumbprint found at a crime scene was not left by
Shirley McKie, who was later sacked from her job.
The Scottish Criminal Records Office rejected any suggestion that it was not
delivering "fair justice".
Miss McKie was a detective constable when Marion Ross, 51, was found murdered at
her home in Kilmarnock in January 1997.
During the investigation, fingerprints were found on a door frame at the
A report by the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO) said that one of the
prints belonged to Miss McKie.
SCRO rejects any suggestion that it is failing to play its part in delivering
fair and effective justice
During the trial of the man accused of the murder, she denied that the print was
hers. She was arrested later and charged with perjury but was acquitted after a
trial in 1999.
She and her father Ian, a retired police officer, have campaigned to clear her
name and have taken legal action against Scottish ministers, who are responsible
for the Scottish Criminal Records Office.
The then Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, apologised but she has not received
compensation for losing her job and the Criminal Records Office has not accepted
that a mistake was made.
The three Scottish Fingerprint Service experts, from Grampian Police, have sent
copies of their findings to the Lord Advocate and their own chief constable.
John McGregor, John Dingwall and Gary Dempster, who have 54 years' experience
between them, said they were unable to remain silent on an issue which was of
"extreme importance" to the future of the profession in Scotland.
Their report stated: "We are satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt that the mark
disclosed on the crime scene photograph was not made by the left thumb of
They said that an independent inquiry should be undertaken by experts from
outside the UK.
Ms McKie thanked them for speaking out on her behalf and said: "I would like to
thank everybody for taking an interest and continuing to take an interest in
Doubt has been cast on the work of the SCRO
A statement from the Scottish Criminal Records Office said legal proceedings
involving the McKies were ongoing and it was inappropriate to comment further.
It went on: "However, SCRO rejects any suggestion that it is failing to play its
part in delivering fair and effective justice.
"We believe that the organisation continues to provide an effective and
professional fingerprint service.
"It has been subject to a detailed and rigorous review - and subsequent
follow-up - by the independent police inspectorate and found to be both
efficient and effective. "
Ms McKie and her father have produced experts from the US who have discredited
the Scottish Criminal Records Office's findings.
The McKies have also been supported by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish National Party MSP Fergus Ewing called the saga a "blot on the
reputation of parliament" and called on Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson to look
at the case.
Executive Moves to Settle McKie Case Out
LUCY ADAMS July 01 2005
THE Scottish Executive is prepared to negotiate with Shirley McKie, the former
police officer seeking £750,000 in damages after losing her job following false
accusations of perjury.
Ms McKie lost her position with Strathclyde Police after her thumbprint was said
to have been found at the home of murder victim Marion Ross.
In 1997, David Asbury was jailed for Ross's murder, but his conviction was
overturned after independent experts cast doubt on claims that prints found in
the house, in Kilmarnock, belonged to him.
Ms McKie was cleared of lying on oath in 1999, after insisting the print found
at the murder scene was not hers.
Her plans to sue the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO), which made the
identification error, was blocked by ministers who said that records office
staff should be given immunity from prosecution. But a ruling by Lord Wheatley
meant that her claim could go ahead against the executive, representing the SCRO.
A spokeswoman for the executive said: "We can confirm that we have written to Ms
McKie's solicitors indicating our willingness to explore whether there is any
scope for resolving matters without proceeding to litigation. We want to make it
clear however that we are doing so on the basis that we are not admitting
liability." She would not comment further as the matter was sub judice.
Iain McKie, the ex-officer's father, said: "This decision is long overdue but
there are still lots of matters to be discussed.
"It seems quite clear that this is an admission that this is not Shirley's
fingerprint and we are certainly pleased to hear this. We hope it will mean she
does not have to go through more months of psychological hell."
Ms McKie planned to sue the executive for £750,000. Five weeks had been set
aside in court early next year, but yesterday ministers wrote to Ms McKie's
lawyers to discuss settling the matter out of court.
The letter follows calls this week from her supporters for the executive to
negotiate, as three fingerprint experts published a report saying the print was
not Ms McKie's. John McGregor, John Dingwall and Gary Dempster, of Grampian
fingerprint bureau, also called for an independent inquiry.
Mike Russell, the broadcaster and supporter of the McKies, said: "This is a step
in the right direction and the first step towards a rational outcome."
message board is always open: (http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2).
For more formal latent print discussions, visit
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
Updated the Detail Archives.
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Updated the Training page with information on IAI Training through Ron Smith and
Associates. Courses are scheduled for Demystifying Palm Prints, Courtroom
Testimony Techniques, and Advanced Fingerprint Comparison.
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