Acosta-Roques v Holder

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Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby cbptucson » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:18 pm

Does anyone have images of the ten prints used in the "identification" in this trial? Just saw some info from the various law blogs about it:

http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblaw ... brief.html

http://for-sci-law-now.blogspot.com/201 ... art-i.html
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby sandra wiese » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:34 am

I have sent an email to the lawyer of record for the defence asking that we see the 10-prints. The verbage of this examiner as reported in your links is not kosher to me. I couldn't access the trial transcript.
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby briano » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:36 pm

I was able to get a copy of the cards and a copy of the Amicus Brief. Attached
Attachments
Acosta Print Images.pdf
(555.45 KiB) Downloaded 421 times
Acosta Amicus Brief.pdf
(230.71 KiB) Downloaded 311 times
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby Tazman » Tue May 01, 2012 4:28 am

Even printed on my old, low resolution home printer, this was an easy ten print to ten print identification.

As I read the transcript in the document accompanying the ten print cards, the examiner was not saying 100% scientific certainty or that fingerprints are 100% accurate. She was saying that her personal belief was at 100% certainty in this ten print comparison. Unless I am mistaken, we can still testify to 100% personal certainty, even if we are no longer supposed to testify to absolute scientific certainty.

So much for the idea that the defense only wants the truth. They want to pull out all the stops to keep a real bad guy out of jail and on the streets. No doubt this defense attorney and those signing the Amicus Brief would rather see fingerprint examiners go to jail for trying to do their job.
"Man was born free, but he is everywhere in chains." -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby josher89 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:39 am

So, I just looked at the prints and I concur with the examiner's identification (thanks briano for the upload!)

It begs the question, though; how many fingers should you compare on this card? We all know that like the old kid's body parts song (The knee bone is connected to the leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the hip bone, etc.) all the fingers are connected (per hand of course) so shouldn't only one finger be sufficient? Since this was a court proceeding, should we be examining all 10 fingers? What if there was two or three fingerprints that were blackened beyond comparison...we'd be obliged to say they weren't suitable for comparison but that shouldn't take any weight away from the remining seven or eight fingers, right?

It's just a question we've been keeping alive in my shop on 10-print comparisons; how many do you need to examine on a 10-print card to establish ID and satisfy the courts?
"It is possible to reconstruct a fingerprint with positive accuracy from a verbal description received by telephone or telegraph."
--E.K. Thode, chief of the National Division of Identification and Information, circa 1930
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby sandra wiese » Tue May 01, 2012 11:46 am

Josher, unless there is some reason to believe that one or any of the fingers in question were previously transplanted, there is no reason to do more than one. The fingers stay with the body. For the same reason that it wouldn't matter if nine of the images were too icky for comparison, you only need one. You would still do the comparison if nine fingers were amputated, right?

I had a discussion about what is known in this case with another examiner who disagrees with me. My contention is that, based on what is known about her testimony, she did not step outside the bounds of ethics or professionalism. Were her answers vague and less than ideal? Yes, I think so. Did she answer what was asked? Yes. If a certain line of and/or style of questioning is accepted by a jurisdiction, I don't believe it is unethical or illegal or immoral for an examiner to stay within that line of questioning. Ideally would s/he do their best to educate the court in greater detail in regard to the comparison process to have that on record for appeal? Mmmm, probably. But what if s/he tried to do this in the past and was shut down every time so gave up and now this time it comes up that some lawyers want to take it farther and all we have to go on is this snapshot in time of her testimony? There can be many other factors involved that just don't show up and are unfortunately not always considered.

While I have reason to believe this is not quite the case in this instance, it is what it is now and that is what the appeal court will decide on. What matters is if the ID is valid. My issue with this case was that in the blogs it implied that the ID was invalid and oops, that turns out not to be the case.
I keep 6 honest serving men
(they taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

-Rudyard Kipling
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby josher89 » Tue May 01, 2012 1:46 pm

Sandra--I agree with you...one finger should be enough. I will make an ID based on one finger unless I feel it necessary otherwise.

As far as her testimony, (I think it was on the FIG) she was asked to keep her answers short and to the point as there was a translator in the court at that time. I know I have been asked to testify on a wide variety of things and didn't ever feel that I was given the opportunity to fully explain what it was that I did. The unfortunate thing is if there is an appeal and it is based on what I (didn't) say, then it reflects on me. I was told very recently by a smart woman that it's not my problem at that point. If my name is associated with something like that, anyone who wants to know the 'real' story should be asking me what happened and not reading a blog.

I have been asked to read off of other people's scene or lab reports (to serve as a 'refresher'), feeling very against that, but when the judge allowed it and defense didn't object, I did. What do I do at that point? I've testified to fingerprint comparisons and haven't been allowed to explain hypothesis testing or ACE-V. I feel like someone may read my conclusions and see that they haven't been backed up by science in the transcripts. These are all shortcomings of the judicial process (lawyers) and not forensic practitioners.

That being said, I know a lot can be lost in the translation (no pun intended). We had a chance to read her testimony but we didn't get to read all testimony detailed in this case. When she said she wouldn't sign off on anything less than "8 points" she didn't mean it took 8 points (she indicated earlier that there wasn't a set number) to ID something. That was her personal threshold. Nothing wrong with that. The fact that the lawyer asked her if that was to the exclusion of all others isn't her phrasing. We have to work with what we are given.

I'm fairly confident that the AB that was written (while unnecessary) won't go to assist with the defense motion; I believe they (courts) will see this as an ident and everything else will be a harmless error (of wording).
"It is possible to reconstruct a fingerprint with positive accuracy from a verbal description received by telephone or telegraph."
--E.K. Thode, chief of the National Division of Identification and Information, circa 1930
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby David Fairhurst » Wed May 02, 2012 3:35 am

I would check all the prints on the forms (rolled, plains & palms); for one especial reason.

Not to confirm the identity, that would be established in my mind after the first, but as a professional fingerprint examiner I would find it very embarassing to have it pointed out to me by someone else that two of the fingers had been printed in the wrong boxes. Even more embarassing would be to find that one of the cards has the prints of more than one person on it, and that some of the prints don't match.

Don't laugh! It happens. When I worked at New Scotland Yard, maintaining the old paper national fingerprint collection, I once came across a card that had four different thumbs on it; two rolled and two different thumbs in the plains. The arresting officer had forgotten to take the plain thumbs. When later he discovered his omission, he put his own prints on the card instead! Did he think we wouldn't notice, or that it wouldn't matter?
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby L.J.Steele » Wed May 02, 2012 9:31 am

Tazman wrote: So much for the idea that the defense only wants the truth. They want to pull out all the stops to keep a real bad guy out of jail and on the streets. No doubt this defense attorney and those signing the Amicus Brief would rather see fingerprint examiners go to jail for trying to do their job.


You misunderstand the defense attorney's job. When representing a particular client, my job is to zealously represent him or her within the bounds of the law. My job is about making sure his or her constitutional rights are protected, the evidence rules are followed, and the prosecutor is held to the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether the defendant is objectively guilty or innocent is a question for the fact-finder.

Once you get to appeals, then the case is all about the process and much less about individual guilt. As the blog says, the question the amici are apparently interested in is about the weight of an non-blind 8 point match, what 100% certain means (and can the examiner say that), and the difference between theoretical uniqueness and the ability to accurately discern uniqueness. An appellate court can conclude that there was error in the testimony, for example, but find it harmless as to this defendant if it concludes there was ample evidence of guilt, and make a prosepective rule about how examiners should testify in the future.
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby L.J.Steele » Wed May 02, 2012 9:38 am

Tazman wrote:Even printed on my old, low resolution home printer, this was an easy ten print to ten print identification.

As I read the transcript in the document accompanying the ten print cards, the examiner was not saying 100% scientific certainty or that fingerprints are 100% accurate. She was saying that her personal belief was at 100% certainty in this ten print comparison. Unless I am mistaken, we can still testify to 100% personal certainty, even if we are no longer supposed to testify to absolute scientific certainty.


I'm dealing with these points separately.

I'd be curious what happens if you give the prints to someone else in your office who knows nothing about the discussion or context. It may be an easy match, but one of the complaints seems to be that it is non-blind.

"100% certain" will vary. Some places allow it. Some places say it is improper vouching by a witness of credibility (in this case his/her own). Some places you'll draw an objection and maybe even curative instructions on the difference between accuracy and certainty. The form of your opinion is something to talk about with whoever is calling you as a witness.

One place where this may go is to follow the eyewitness ID cases, where some states are requiring the certainty statement to be recorded at the time of the ID before the witness is exposed to any potentially basing information about the defendant. In those places, you'll likely see analogies drawn to the way that witness' certainty is inflated by post-event information, including the fact of the trial itself.
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby ER » Wed May 02, 2012 11:11 am

While it is one thing to zealously represent a client, it is another thing entirely to misquote the testimony of a witness in order to mislead the court. Stating that "eight matching friction ridge characteristics are not sufficient to support assertions that two impressions indisputaby come from the same source" demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of basic comparison concepts. It is equally wrong and misleading to tell the court '8 points is always enough' as it is to tell the court '8 prints is never enough'. The witness stated that she generally looks for at least 8 points. Which side has overstated their arguments here?

While it may be inappropriate to exclude all other donors on latent print ID, it may be defendable to exclude all others on a 10-print ID. If the current research that applies population numbers to fingerprint ID's were to be expanded to 10-print ID's, the numbers support that statement.

Stating that no people share the same fingerprint is scientifically supported. The amicus authors would have the court believe that this statement is improper because it is unprovable. This again demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic scientific principles. Many scientific theories are unprovable but remain accepted and reliable because of the overwhelming evidence that supports them. A 'theory' is not a guess or an opinion. It is a statement on the nature of things and relies on supporting evidence. The supporting evidence that no two people share the same fingerprint is overwhelming. It will always remain unprovable, but the important thing, scientifically, is that the theory is falsifiable. The evidence could be found (and we are constantly looking) that disproves the theory. Not finding two people with the same fingerprint just adds on to the validity of the theory.

If the authors are trying to argue the "weight of a non-blind 8 point match", then they are misleading the court. There is no evidence that an 8 point match is improper, nor is there evidence that the examiner made an '8 point match'. They also provide no evidence that a non-blind match is any worse than a blind match or a double-blind match. There is currently insuffient evidence that a blind verification is any better than non-blind. Blind sounds better and more scientific and works great in clinical trials, but may not be the most appropriate tool for fingerprint verification. Most other scientific disciplines verify others work by repeating or falsifying the original test. The key thing is that they have to know the original answer to rigorously try to falsify it. Mere duplication is not as rigorous as trying to prove someone else's answer wrong.
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby L.J.Steele » Thu May 03, 2012 9:13 am

ER wrote:While it is one thing to zealously represent a client, it is another thing entirely to misquote the testimony of a witness in order to mislead the court.


I haven't seen the transcripts, so I can't speak to how it is quoted. The appellate court gets the transcripts. Attorneys are usually careful about not intentionally misquoting, tho it can happen. (I had to correct a brief where I missed a critical "not" in re-typing a quote and, having mis-read it, went off on the wrong track in the argument. Embarassing when it happens, fortunately caught and fixed.)

ER wrote:Stating that "eight matching friction ridge characteristics are not sufficient to support assertions that two impressions indisputaby come from the same source" demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of basic comparison concepts.


That's an interesting question to which I don't know the answer. I came into this area during the debates between you folks on point-counting v. ridgeology and during the discussions about how many points are enough -- is there an internal minimum, etc. I've seen the discussions about zero points in the right case being enough, and saw discussions of how similar Mayfield's latent was to the Algerian man convicted in the offense. I think one can say there isn't consensus on how many points and that the testimony might be misleading if it implied 8 was enough.

ER wrote: Stating that no people share the same fingerprint is scientifically supported. The amicus authors would have the court believe that this statement is improper because it is unprovable.


I don't want to put words in the amici's mouth. I interpret them as talking about the difference between theoretical uniqueness with high quality impressions and reliabliy discernable uniqueness with the typical stuff one finds at a crime scene.

ER wrote: There is currently insuffient evidence that a blind verification is any better than non-blind. Blind sounds better and more scientific and works great in clinical trials, but may not be the most appropriate tool for fingerprint verification.


Again, I'm a well-read attorney. I think the evidence in support of blind testing is overall quite solid. That's why it is widely used in science. There are some issues with how practical it is, and implementation problems if the only things ever blind tested are identifications. (It might make sense to put in close-non-matches where the examiner doesn't think it is good enough to match, but thinks another examiner might disagree.)
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby ER » Thu May 03, 2012 10:57 am

the testimony might be misleading if it implied 8 was enough.

The testimony did not imply that eight was enough (chuckle), but stated that the examiner generally did not make ID's below 8. She obviously could have explained in more detail how she used far more characteristics for these particular ID's. In any case, when latent print examiners talk about 8 points or 10 points or 0 points, we have a general idea of what that looks like. We also know that there are some comparisons where 8 is enough and some where 8 is not enough. Some where 10 is enough, some where 10 is not enough. Lots where 16 is enough, a few where 16 isn't enough. A very very few where 0 is enough. Any statement that 8 points is never enough is demonstrably incorrect. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, depending on all of the information in the prints.

On uniqueness: The point really is that just because something is unprovable, doesn't always make it unreliable.

I think the evidence in support of blind testing is overall quite solid. That's why it is widely used in science.

While blind testing is widely used in science, it is not generally how scientists check each others work. I'd rather have a verifier that tried to prove me wrong and failed than a verifier that merely came to the same answer I did. Of course, both of these options are preferable to a rubber stamp verification.
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby L.J.Steele » Thu May 03, 2012 1:25 pm

I looked at the transcript snippet in the first .pdf and the section of the amicus that talks about it (p. 15=16). It seems to accurately quote the transcript bit, tho I gather ER disagrees with the characterization. Anyone perchance able to upload the entire transcript of the expert's testimony? This might be more clear if we could read all of it.

[quote="ER] In any case, when latent print examiners talk about 8 points or 10 points or 0 points, we have a general idea of what that looks like. We also know that there are some comparisons where 8 is enough and some where 8 is not enough. Some where 10 is enough, some where 10 is not enough. Lots where 16 is enough, a few where 16 isn't enough. A very very few where 0 is enough. Any statement that 8 points is never enough is demonstrably incorrect. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, depending on all of the information in the prints. [/quote]

You and the testifying expert likely share a certain set of assumptions about what the testimony means. The amicus is questioning whether ordinary jurors (or judges or attorneys) would understand this exchange as saying that 8 is enough -- you don't need more and you can't use less. I'm too well read in this area to see it as a juror in their 1st trial, but I can accept that who knows nothing of this field could understanding the testimony something very differently from what's intended.

I'm more used to seeing testimony that includes the notion of no inexplicable dissimilarities/discrepancies as part of the what's enough. Usually I also see the nifty exhibit prepared for court with the two enlarged images side by side and circles and arrows pointing to some number of Galton points.
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Re: Acosta-Roques v Holder

Postby Amy Hart » Fri May 04, 2012 8:11 am

Here is the transcript.

SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
25 This is Sue.
A 73 523 551 43 October 13, 2010
1 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
2 Yes, hello. This is Immigration Judge Tammy Fitting.
3 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
4 Yes.
5 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
6 And can you state your full name please?
7 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
8 Susan R. Blei, B-l-e-i.
9 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
I0 All right, and are you willing to testify in this Ii immigration matter?
12 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
13 Yes, I am.
14 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
15 Okay, and please raise your right hand.
16 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
17 Okay.
18 [SUSAN R. BLEI DULY SWORN]
19 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
20 Thank you. Now, Mr. Capece, the attorney for the
21 Department of Homeland Security will ask you questions.
22 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
23 Um-hum.
24 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
25 And Mr. Acosta is appearing pro se, excuse me, A 73 523 551 44 October 13, 2010
1 unrepresented.
2 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
3 Okay.
4 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
5 We are using an interpreter in the Spanish language.
6 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
7 Okay.
8 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
9 So if you could speak in short sentences so the
i0 interpreter can keep pace and capture everything you're saying...
Ii SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
12 Okay.
13 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
14 ...so it can be interpreted to the Respondent, Mr.
15 Acosta.
16 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
17 Okay.
18 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
19 All right, thank you, ma'am.
20 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
21 You're welcome.
22 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
23 GO ahead, Mr. Capece.
24 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
25 Good afternoon, Ms. Blei
A 73 523 551 45 October 13, 2010
1 SUSAN R. BLEI TO MR. CAPECE
2 Good afternoon.
3 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
4 Q. All right, we have your name on the record, so my
5 next question is, what is your occupation?
6 A. I'm a fingerprint analyst and I supervise the
7 criminal records and identification bureau.
8 Q. So do you have an official title with that?
9 A. My official title is AFIS Operator 2.
I0 Q. Okay, so are you -- you said supervisor, so are you ii the supervisor over all the fingerprint experts?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Okay, and that's for the -- is it the Alaska State
14 Police?
15 A. This is the Department of Public Safety.
16 Q. How long have you been in that position?
17 A. In this position eight and a half years.
18 Q. How long have you been analyzing fingerprints?
19 A. Since 1989.
20 Q. Okay, and how did you break into the field, so to
21 speak?
22 A. It was an area of interest and I began training on
23 the job.
24 Q. Okay, and then as part of that did you have any
25 education?
A 73 523 551 46 October 13, 2010
1 A. Yes, I did FBI fingerprint training as well as
2 other courses.
3 Q. Okay. Well, tell the Court about the FBI
4 fingerprint training, when you went and how long it was and what
5 you covered there.
6 A. My first training was in 1990. I did a 40-hour
7 advanced latent fingerprint technique class that the FBI put on.
8 Q. Okay, and then I see -- and then, so does -- I've
9 already put your CV into evidence. Is that fairly -- recite then
i0 the training that you've been through over the years?
ii A. Yes, it does.
12 Q. Now, what are the actual duties of your position?
13 A. I oversee the fingerprint analysts. I'm available
14 for doing back up verifications, which we do on anything case
15 related. We get verification by two employees. I supervise any
16 criminal history entry, the maintenance of all of our criminal
17 history information.
18 Q. And I don't know if I asked this, but how many
19 people do you supervise in your office?
20 A. Twelve.
21 Q. And is that for the whole state?
22 A. Yes. Yes, we're the only office in the state of
23 Alaska. This is it.
24 Q. So tell me, does all law enforcement in the state
25 of Alaska come to your, or is it -- are you tied to a particular A 73 523 551 47 October 13, 2010
1 agency?
2 A. No, we're statewide. We're what's considered the
3 central repository. Everything comes through us.
4 Q. Now, do you have any -- does your position require
5 any form of licensing?
6 A. No, it does not.
7 Q. And what about the specialized education that was
8 talked about previously? Does that -- is that...
9 A. That's all part of the requirements of the position
i0 to have the training.
ii Q. so can you estimate how many fingerprint analyses
12 you've done over the years?
13 A. Oh my gosh, I...
14 Q. Or maybe a yearly estimate?
15 A. Thousands. Our office processes between five and
16 6,000 fingerprint cards per month.
17 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
18 And now -- okay, Your Honor, at this time I would like
19 to tender Ms. Blei as a fingerprint expert.
20 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
21 So accepted, go ahead.
22 MR. CAPECE TO SUSA/q R. BLEI
23 Q. Now, I want to go into -- a little bit into how you
24 actually identify somebody by means of fingerprints.
25 A. Okay,
A 73 523 551 48 October 13, 2010
1 Q. Okay now, how do you -- if you can answer this, how
2 do you actually identify someone by means of fingerprints?
3 A. I have two impressions that I'm comparing, I use -
4 I personally use two fingerprint magnifiers and two pointers is
5 what we call them, and I'll have a glass over each impression, and
6 I use the pointer to what I call walk through the ridges and count
7 my points.
8 Q. Okay now, is there a set number of points that
9 needs to compare in order for you to be able to say that this is
10 the same person?
ii A. There is no established number. I normally would
12 not want to sign off on anything with less than eight, but there
13 is no set established policy for minimum.
14 Q. Okay, is there an amount that's required by
15 criminal courts?
16 A. No, there's not.
17 Q. Okay, so eight would be acceptable in criminal
18 courts then?
19 A. Yes. Yes, if you sign off on it, you're saying
20 that that's the same person.
21 Q. Now, do fingerprints ever change with age?
22 A. The prints themselves don't change. The quality of
23 the prints may change, I mean, depending on what your occupation
24 is, if you've got scarring or burning.
25 Q. What is the likelihood of two people possessing the A 73 523 551 49 October 13, 2010
1 same fingerprints?
2 A. That won't happen. No two people have the same
3 fingerprints.
4 Q. Okay, is that -- and how -- I mean, how do you know
5 that? Is there a scientific study?
6 A. There have been scientific studies, yes.
7 Q. So even identical twins wouldn't have the same
8 fingerprints?
9 A. No, they would not.
I0 Q. Okay now, turning to the case at hand and Mr.
ii Acosta-Roque, how did this case first come to your attention? And
12 I ask if you need to refer to any of your documents that you
13 please ask leave of the Court before doing so?
14 A. Okay. I'd like to refer to my notes at this point.
15 I've got a file with copies of my reports and the fingerprint
16 cards.
17 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
18 Now, are any of these -- can we identify these in our
19 record, Mr. Capece?
20 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
21 Well, Ms. Blei, all we have right now is the September
22 25 letter and the November 29 letter...
23 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
24 Yes.
25 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
A 73 523 551 50 October 13, 2010
1 ...and the four fingerprint cards that were attached to
2 the letters.
3 SUSAN R. BLEI TO MR. CAPECE
4 Okay.
5 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
6 And those are Exhibit 2, pages seven through, I believe
7 it's 16.
8 INTERPRETER TO MR. CAPECE
9 Can you give me the second date on the second letter?
i0 MR. CAPECE TO INTERPRETER
ii Yes, it was November 24, 2009. I'm sorry, do you need
12 us to slow down? Okay.
13 INTERPRETER TO MR. CAPECE
14 So far we're okay.
15 MR. CAPECE TO INTERPRETER
16 Okay.
17 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
18 And then, so, Your Honor, is it all right if I have her
19 just refer to the letters themselves?
20 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
21 Okay, I'm sorry, one more time. The Exhibits are
22 Exhibit 2?
23 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
24 Pages seven through sixteen.
25 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
A 73 523 551 51 October 13, 2010
1 If we can use the page numbers, that would help.
2 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
3 Yes, Your Honor.
4 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
5 Okay, thank you, go ahead.
6 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
7 All right, Ms. Blei, the first letter that I have is the
8 September 25, 2009 letter.
9 SUSAN R. BLEI TO MR. CAPECE
i0 Yes.
Ii MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
12 Okay, if you could refer just to that letter at this
13 point.
14 SUSAN R. BLEI TO MR. CAPECE
15 Okay.
16 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
17 And that's page?
18 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
19 And that's page eight and nine.
20 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
21 Q. Now, Ms. Blei, if you can tell us just using this
22 letter, if you can tell us how this case first came to your
23 attention?
24 A. Kenneth Thompson [phonetic spelling] and Kirk
25 Oberlander [phonetic spelling] came to my office with three A 73 523 551 52 October 13, 2010
1 fingerprint cards, and they wanted me to obtain the prints from
2 Pennsylvania that were attached to an FBI number for Victor
3 Aromboles and compare those to the card from Puerto Rico,
4 Anchorage and the one with the ORI that begins with the NJ.
5 Q. Were you able to obtain the Pennsylvania
6 fingerprints?
7 A. Yes, I was.
8 Q. Okay, and how did you obtain those?
9 A. I got a copy by fax, as well as a copy by mail for
I0 quality purposes and compared them all.
ii Q. And did you compare all four sets of prints?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. And what was your conclusion upon comparing the
14 prints?
15 A. They were made by one and the same individual.
16 Q. Okay, now how did you go about comparing these sets
17 of prints?
18 A. I began with the Pennsylvania prints and I compared
19 them one at a time to each of the other cards.
20 Q. And why did you use the Pennsylvania prints?
21 A. They were the ones that had been requested. You
22 could do it in any order. That was just the way I did it.
23 Q. Okay, and you determined that all four matched up
24 to the same person?
25 A. Yes, they did.
A 73 523 551 53 October 13, 2010
1 Q. And did you have -- was there any sort of back-up
2 check done on this?
3 A. I did have another employee do comparisons on the
4 very same cards, and that employee came to the same conclusion.
5 Q. Okay now, and those four cards are actually
6 attached to the letter, is that correct?
7 A. Yes, they are.
8 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
9 Okay, so the four cards, they're also in the exhibit,
I0 Your Honor, pages i0 through 16.
ll MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
12 Q. And so what are the chances that this could -- that
13 the fingerprints from Mr. Acosta-Roque maybe don't match Mr.
14 Victor Arumboles?
15 A. They do match.
16 Q. Okay, so I mean, can you state -- I mean, what are
17 they -- is there a percentage? Can you quantify it, or...
18 A. No. No, I'm i00 percent sure the prints are the
19 same and made by the same individual.
20 Q. Okay now, there's another letter in November...
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
23 November 24, 2009, that's page seven of Exhibit 3, Your
24 Honor.
25 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
A 73 523 551 54 October 13, 2010
1 Q. Now, it looks like you did a second letter
2 concerning these prints?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Okay, and how did that come about?
5 A. I don't recall the exact reason. I was contacted
6 by Jeff Stender [phonetic spelling] of Customs and Border
7 Protection in Anchorage and asked to confirm the identification on
8 the four documents.
9 Q. Okay, do you know -- did you do a second analysis,
I0 or did you use the first analysis?
II A. I used the first analysis.
12 Q. Okay, were they the same cards?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay, so was there anything else you relied on in
15 making your determination besides those four fingerprints cards?
16 A. That was all that entered into my determination was
17 the fingerprint cards.
18 Q. Okay, and you concluded that they're one and the
19 same to the exclusion of all others?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q° Okay and I just -- one last time, how certain are
22 you about your conclusion that these prints belong to the same
23 individual?
24 A. I'm i00 percent certain.
25 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
A 73 523 551 55 October 13, 2010
1 I have no further questions, Your Honor.
2 JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
3 Okay.
4 JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
5 And, Mr. Acosta, do you have any questions for the
6 fingerprint analyst?
7 RESPONDENT TO JUDGE
8 Okay, I did my documents from Puerto Rico. My wife had
9 mentioned, and then I got my good conduct document from Puerto
i0 Rico.
ii JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
12 Sir, this is your chance to ask this witness questions.
13 We'll ask you for your explanation after this -- after we're done
14 with this witness. Okay, so go ahead and ask -- if you have any
15 questions for Ms. -- for Officer Blei go ahead.
16 RESPONDENT TO JUDGE
17 I just wanted to ask, since they're accusing me of that,
18 then why when I was obtaining that document, why did none of this
19 come up if I'm supposedly the person that's being accused?
20 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
21 All right, and, Officer, are you connected with
22 immigration in any way?
23 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
24 No, I'm not.
25 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
A 73 523 551 56 October 13, 2010
1 Okay, and the records that you checked were from
2 Pennsylvania?
3 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
4 I had a card from Pennsylvania and from Puerto Rico and
5 the United States.
6 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
7 Okay, thank you.
8 MR. CAPECE TO JUDGE
9 And, Your Honor, I guess if I may, I think just to
i0 clarify then if I may ask the question.
ii JUDGE TO MR. CAPECE
12 Go ahead.
13 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
14 Okay now, the letter from Puerto Rico, is that the one
15 you received from US INS?
16 SUSAN R. BLEI TO MR. CAPECE
17 Yes, it is.
18 JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
19 Okay, sir, do you have any other questions?
20 RESPONDENT TO JUDGE
21 And then I wanted to ask, if I was having that problem,
22 why when I was obtaining that document in Puerto Rico and I was
23 putting down my fingerprint, why didn't they say, hey, you have a
24 problem with this or that?
25 JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
A 73 523 551 57 October 13, 2010
1 Okay, sir, this witness does not work for Immigration
2 and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security.
3 She works for the state of Alaska. So it's my understanding she
4 would not have any knowledge about what happened when you applied
5 for your status. Do you have any other questions?
6 RESPONDENT TO JUDGE
7 I just can't explain. I mean, do you think that if I
8 was having any problems I would try to get those documents when I
9 know it's something that's federal?
i0 JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
ii Okay. Now, sir, you'll have a chance to make statements
12 and answer questions. Do you have any other particular questions
13 for this analyst and how she compared the fingerprints?
14 RESPONDENT TO JUDGE
15 Yes, I wanted to know how they compared it because they
16 were saying that I had some scars in my hand and I've never had
17 any scars in my hand.
18 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
19 All right, do the information, Officer, that you have,
20 do the -- any of the fingerprints indicate scarring?
21 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
22 I don't see any particular scars on the fingers. I'm
23 looking at all four of the cards right now.
24 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
25 Okay, thank you.
A 73 523 551 58 October 13, 2010
1 JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
2 SO, sir, I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to.
3 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
4 It looks like there's a small scar on finger number
5 three, but it's not by any means a large scar.
6 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
7 Okay. Okay, and which print is that on? All of them?
8 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
9 This one -- yes.
i0 MR. CAPECE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
ii Is that the right middle finger?
12 SUSAN R. BLEI TO MR. CAPECE
13 Yes, it is.
14 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
15 Okay.
16 JUDGE TO RESPONDENT
17 Any other questions?
18 RESPONDENT TO JUDGE
19 I don't have any scars. I never had any scars.
20 SUSAN R. BLEI TO JUDGE
21 This is a possible scar. It could be something in the
22 rolling. It could be a wrinkle in the finger. It's a very small
23 area.
24 JUDGE TO SUSAN R. BLEI
25 Okay, thank you, Officer.
Amy Hart
 
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