Fingerprint Evidence is Crucial?

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Fingerprint Error 3



The above images depict an erroneous identification that was produced by an IAI Certified Latent Print Examiner employed by a small police department in the state of Illinois, US. The examiner had a four year college degree and passed the IAI CLPE certification exam. The Examiner's certification was revoked by the IAI Latent Print Certification Board because of this incorrect identification.

The Examiner never apprenticed under a competent examiner, but had a self-trained Latent Print Examiner "mentor" 90 miles away who occasionally reviewed some identifications. The "mentor" (employed by the Illinois State Police laboratory system) was "charged" with making a separate erroneous identification three months after the error displayed here was discovered. The "mentor" had never been proficiency tested, had previously retired from a California law enforcement agency as a crime scene technician and was basically self-trained having never apprenticed under any Latent Print Examiner. The above chart was used during testimony at both a preliminary hearing and a parole revocation hearing. Legal prosecution ceased when the error was revealed. The Examiner's agency did not require identification verifications... and also did not participate in annual proficiency testing.

Verification of fingerprint identifications is a fundamental basis of establishing identity. This conjoined with proficiency testing and many other requirements are just some of the requisites of the accreditation process of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

Training provided by a competent examiner within a clearly defined training program was lacking. Is this the only officer to ever receive sub par and insufficient training and subsequently present their unverified identification before a court of law? Are there others?





The above prints related to a case from 1996. The body of a middle-aged spinster Marion Ross was found in her home in Kilmarnock, Scotland. The Strathclyde Police undertook the investigation and search of the crime scene.
Some latent prints were collected from the crime scene. A suspect named David Asbury, who had done some repairs in Miss Ross’ home some years earlier, was an early suspect. A small decorative tin that originally came with individually wrapped candy was found in his home. The tin depicted a scene of a horse drawn carriage.
Subsequently, a latent on the tin from suspect Asbury’s home was identified as having been made by the victim Ross and one latent on a Christmas gift tag from the murder scene was identified for Asbury. He was arrested and charged with murder. This was the only physical evidence used against him in trial: his print on the tag at the scene and the victim’s print on the tin at his home. The Strathclyde Police do not employ latent print examiners and utilize the services of the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO). Four SCRO experts endorsed the report for the two latent print identifications.
When the SCRO examiners were eliminating the remaining unidentified latents, one latent from inside the crime scene was identified as having been made by a Detective Constable Shirley McKie. The fingerprint evidence in the Asbury case was thrown into doubt when Detective Constable McKie testified that she had not been inside the Ross home, in spite of the “fact” that her fingerprint had been identified there. This concerned the same four SCRO experts.
Despite this doubt, Asbury was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life.

Above info kindly supplied by Ed German. Vist -