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Monday, January 10, 2005

The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.

Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Not Checking For Fingerprints SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, FL - Jan. 6, 2005 ...federal agencies have failed to
fulfill a congressional mandate to consolidate their fingerprint databases...

New System Runs Prints Faster SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, IN  - Jan. 5, 2005 automatic fingerprint identification machine can help identify someone in as little as 30 minutes...

Teens Absorb Science TV Shows Leave Out   ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, NY - Jan. 4, 2005 ...'CSI' is cool, but forensics is, like, totally hard work...

Flaws In Digital-Fingerprint Technology   WASHINGTON TIMES, DC  - Jan. 3, 2005 ...flaws and human error with digital-fingerprint technology may be putting defendants at risk of being convicted of crimes they didn't commit...


CNN: Reasonable Doubt
Can Crime Labs Be Trusted?

 Popular television programs such as CSI have created the image of forensic crime-fighters whose work can unravel even the toughest crime. But a joint investigation by CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting examines the lack of standards, quality controls and training at many of the nation's forensic laboratories and raises serious doubts about some forensic scientists.

Riky Jackson
Riky Jackson was convicted in 1997 of murdering a friend, Alvin Davis, based on bloody fingerprints found at the crime scene that police in Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania, said matched Jackson's fingerprints. Jackson's attorney's, Mike Malloy, hired two former FBI fingerprint examiners who determined the prints were not Jackson's, but three prosecution examiners testified that the fingerprints matched. Jackson was sentenced to life without parole. Upset by the verdict, the examiners hired by Malloy sent the prints to be reviewed by a group that accredits fingerprint examiners, which found the prints didn't match. A year after the conviction, the fingerprint evidence was sent to the FBI, which found the prints didn't match, and Jackson was freed after more than two years in prison.

Brandon Mayfield

The FBI arrested Brandon Mayfield based on their certainty that his fingerprints matched the ones on a bag containing detonators and explosives found near the Madrid train bombings that killed nearly 200 people. Mayfield insisted he was innocent, but in an affidavit, an FBI agent said "the FBI lab stands by their conclusion of a 100 percent positive identification." Spanish officials disagreed with the FBI and matched the print to an Algerian national living in Spain. Mayfield was released after spending two weeks in prison.

Watch most of the footage related to fingerprints at the following link:

in the "Archives" under the program name, "Reasonable Doubt"

Ending comments of the program:

"Most of the problems and concerns in this documentary have ready solutions.. money, research, accountability, etc.  And while human error can never be eliminated, it can certainly be reduced."


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