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Thursday, April 8, 2021

How Reliable is Crime Scene Fingerprint Identification?

One should be skeptical of the reliability of crime scene fingerprint identification. It's true that no two people have the same fingerprints, but no one knows the degree to which the fingerprints from two people can be similar. This could lead to misidentification, particularly when an imperfect crime scene latent is compared to an inked, rolled-on or digitized impression. Most police fingerprint ID officers were trained as cops rather than objective scientists. These practitioners tend to be biased toward law enforcement and prosecution. The widely made claim that no one has ever gone to prison on a false fingerprint identification is false. Proven cases of fingerprint misidentifications represent the tip of the false identification iceberg. Fingerprint identification is, by nature, subjective. The process is not hard science. As a result, no defendant should be sent to prison solely on the identification of a crime scene latent.

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