Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
NH v. Langill
Jan 31, 2007
...New Hampshire Superior Court has provisionally excluded the
testimony of a fingerprint examiner, citing the examiner's failure to
maintain proper documentation and her failure to use a blind
Defendant’s Fingerprint was Found at Murder Scene
- Feb 1, 2007 ...fingerprint left in a splatter of blood on
a wall matches a print of the accused...
Old Fingerprint Seals 99-year Sentence –
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, AK
- Jan 31,
2007 ...investigators found fingerprints on
papers in victim's home and under her body but did not find an initial
Bloody Print Opens Trial of Slain Dancer
CRIME LIBRARY, NY
- Jan 30, 2007
"...it is the only fingerprint in blood in the apartment..."
Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist
Thomas Taylor Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:15 pm
10 years is enough fight for the McKie family
clpexco Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:10 pm
Testing fingerprint reagents
Michele Triplett Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:09 am
LATENT PRINT SUPERVISOR - KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Steve Everist Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:28 pm
Number of man-hours to identify James Earl Ray in 1968
cchampod Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:42 pm
Opportunities abound for latent print examiners
Kasey Wertheim Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:11 am
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
Updated the Smiley Files with one new Smiley from
Stephany Louk-Denney and Jean Curtit, Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Association of Chiefs of Police have instituted the IACP August Vollmer
Excellence in Forensic Science Award. The August Vollmer Excellence in
Forensic Science Award has been created to honor the proactive, innovative
use of forensic technologies by law enforcement. Nomination categories
for the first annual presentation of this award are as follows:
1) Innovation in Forensic Technology (Individual or crime lab)
2) Significant Investigative Value in a Major Crime
3) Current or Past Contribution to Forensic Science by Police Agency
4) Current or Past Contribution to Forensic Science by Individual Award
Nominations must be received by April 1st, 2007. Submissions must be
limited to no more than 1000 words.
Each agency, organization or individual may only be nominated for one
category. Additional materials will not be accepted as part of the
nomination packet (e.g. videos, posters, pins, pictures etc.). The
nominations will be judged by members of the IACP Forensic Committee.
Winners will be notified in June and be presented with their award (a
sterling silver medallion) at the Annual IACP Conference to be held in New
Orleans, LA in October 2007.
More information is available at
I urge you all to consider nominating a worthy individual or agency. This is
a great honor that the IACP recognizes the value of forensic science to its
Steve Ostrowski brought us news of a New
Hampshire Motion to Exclude Latent Fingerprint Evidence being granted in
State v. Langill.
Cynthia Rennie brings us
lecture notes on the appellate process from an ABFDE seminar presentation by
The Appellate Process
A Lecture at the American Board of
Forensic Document Examiners Seminar
Presentation by Lisa Steele, Esq.
Lecture Notes by Cynthia Rennie,
Ms. Lisa Steele, Esq., an appellate attorney in Massachusetts, discussed the
use of expert testimony in the appellate process.
Ms. Steele explained that appeals are usually launched because there has
been an error of law, or because the appellate attorney believes that a new
trial should be granted on the grounds of ineffective assistance of original
counsel; claims of actual innocence; or claims affecting the reliability of
The Court responds to the appeal by collecting and reviewing the transcripts
of witness testimony and the court exhibits. The parties may also submit
published articles and materials to support their arguments, and the Court
may perform its own research using published materials and/or “amicus
briefs” (information from neutral third parties).
During the appeals process, the prosecution may use forensic testimony to
explain the facts of the case. If the appeal was launched because an error
had been found, the prosecution may cite forensic testimony to demonstrate
the strength of its case and show that the error was harmless and would not
have changed the outcome of the trial.
The defense may challenge the admissibility of the expert witness and/or the
testimony proffered by that witness; bring up discrepancies between the
testimony of the expert and the findings of published authorities; show that
the prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence or presented false evidence;
present new evidence of innocence (usually DNA) to show that the trial
evidence was unreliable; show that the trial counsel failed to properly
investigate or challenge the evidence; or challenge the forensic methods
used in the light of more modern techniques and standards.
Transcripts of expert testimony can be used in other ways as well. The
defense may review prior testimony of a specific witness to get a sense of
the training and expertise of the witness, and an idea of how they respond
Transcripts of expert testimony may also be used in subsequent trials to
impeach the same witness (or a witness from the same agency) with
inconsistent procedures or explanations from prior trials. In some cases,
both parties will agree to use expert testimony about a general topic in a
similar situation from an unrelated trial, generally to save time and costs.
In Commonwealth v. Patterson (Mass. 2005) , for example, each side had one
“live” witness (Stephen Meagher and James. E. Starrs) and used the
transcripts of the 1999 Mitchell challenge to obtain the testimony of the
other experts (Ashbaugh, Babler, Stoney, and Cole.).
Those of us who testify in court should be aware that our testimony has a
long “shelf life”, and if we are not careful and consistent, the things that
we say on the witness stand may come back to haunt us.
Feel free to pass The Detail along to other
examiners. This is a free newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY
latent print examiners.
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