U.S. Seeks Review Of Fingerprint Techniques
The National Institute of Justice–the research arm of the Department of Justice–has urged researchers to review processes related to the discipline of fingerprint techniques in forensic science. The institute would like researchers to investigate how accurate the fingerprint comparisons made by law enforcement examiners are and to measure the quality of fingerprints taken from crime scenes.
Several high-profile mistakes have been made by fingerprint experts in recent years, and this appears to be a driving factor behind the institute’s call for more research into the reliability of fingerprinting. The institute hopes that research will improve the fingerprint examination process, while also providing juries “with increased information about the significance and weight of fingerprint evidence,” says Catherine Sanders with the Office of Justice Programs.
Previously, fingerprint techniques were viewed as nearly unassailable, but this stance appears to be changing. With the increased scrutiny that fingerprinting techniques are receiving, the FBI says that it is likely to impose new rules about matching fingerprints.
“Probably, within the next year, we’re going to set our own standards, a minimum number of points needed to declare a match,” says FBI fingerprint examiner instructor Charles Jones Jr.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Chic