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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, June 30, 2008

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...
by Kasey Wertheim
Asylum seekers torch skin off their fingertips so they can't be ID ...
Sunday Mirror, UK - 14 hours ago
Every night dozens - mainly from war-torn African states, Iraq and Afghanistan - gather in Calais to "remove" their fingerprints in their quest for a new ...
Silversmith captures fingerprints in jewelry
Daily Nonpareil, IA - Jun 27, 2008
Since beginning her Priceless Prints, Nester has created more than 3279 fingerprints with requests coming as far away as Japan; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; ...
Jury Deliberates Alleged Teacher Threats Case
CBS 3, PA - Jun 25, 2008
Investigators received a break in the case when a fingerprint on one of the threatening notes matched Romanyszyn's. Romanyszyn took the stand in her defense ...
Brunswick Police: Man Responsible For 9 Burglaries, FL - Jun 23, 2008
Police said Evans' fingerprints matched latent fingerprint evidence from the 2007 burglaries, allowing arrest warrants to be obtained in those cases.

Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
Last Week's Board topics containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist

Click link any time for recent, relevant fingerprint NEWS
by clpexco on Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:36 pm 0 Replies 3319 Views Last post by clpexco
on Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:36 pm

Topics Replies Views Last post

KEPT - Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony
1, 2, 3, 4, 5by clpexco on Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:52 pm 70 Replies 7394 Views Last post by Kasey Wertheim
on Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:19 pm

Evidence Fabrication in South Africa
1 ... 13, 14, 15by Pat A. Wertheim on Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:48 pm 223 Replies 26773 Views Last post by Pat A. Wertheim
on Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:04 pm

Calls for Inquiry to be scrapped
1 ... 26, 27, 28by Daktari on Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:28 pm 411 Replies 35996 Views Last post by Pat A. Wertheim
on Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:40 pm

Lord Johnston
by charlton97 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:07 am 14 Replies 357 Views Last post by charlton97
on Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:22 pm

Homosexuality: Nature or nurture?
by charlton97 on Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:44 am 0 Replies 18 Views Last post by charlton97
on Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:44 am

SWGFAST - New Drafts for Comment
by Steve Everist on Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:32 am 0 Replies 21 Views Last post by Steve Everist
on Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:32 am

News Topic
by Charles Parker on Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:18 pm 0 Replies 34 Views Last post by Charles Parker
on Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:18 pm

Statistics and Misidentifications - The weeks Detail
1 ... 12, 13, 14by Michele on Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:31 pm 202 Replies 44921 Views Last post by Outsider
on Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:33 pm

Fact or Fiction - Will and William West
by Christie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:15 am 2 Replies 137 Views Last post by Kasey Wertheim
on Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:42 am

Duplicate Lifts
1, 2, 3by Charles Parker on Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:33 pm 36 Replies 2768 Views Last post by Kasey Wertheim
on Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:36 am

Minimizing background - LCV print on brown wall
by Heather Baxter on Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:43 pm 5 Replies 200 Views Last post by George Reis
on Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:30 pm

Scientific American Article
by Ann Horsman on Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:11 pm 2 Replies 232 Views Last post by Ann Horsman
on Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:29 pm

by Charles Parker on Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:03 pm 0 Replies 100 Views Last post by Charles Parker
on Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:03 pm

Conclusions: differences vs conflicts
by Michele on Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:21 pm 5 Replies 338 Views Last post by Ernie Hamm
on Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:51 am

Double blind verifications - a discussion on ideas and SOPs
by antonroland on Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:30 am 11 Replies 404 Views Last post by antonroland
on Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:59 am

Advice on tenprint retrieval
by antonroland on Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:47 am 3 Replies 209 Views Last post by antonroland
on Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:58 am



Updated the Fingerprint Interest Group (FIG) page with FIG #51; rotation and slippage, submitted by Bonnie Manno.  You can send your example of unique distortion to Charlie Parker:  For discussion, visit the forum FIG thread.

Updated the forum Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony (KEPT) thread with KEPT #26; Terminology - Permanence or Persistence, submitted by Michelle Triplett.  You can send your questions on courtroom topics to Michelle Triplett:

Added to the McKie page
a link to the 2005 letter from SCRO examiners to Alex Neil.

Updated the Detail Archives


Last week

we considered quality assurance policies and procedures related to differences of opinion / conflicting conclusions in latent print examination.

This week

we look at updates to several SWGFAST documents posted last week on

SWGFAST Document Updates
by Kasey Wertheim

SWGFAST has posted three updated documents on their website,  Although this Weekly Detail provides a short overview of major changes, it is recommended that interested practitioners download the new versions of the documents and review them in their entirety.

New image   Standard for Examination of Simultaneous Impressions  (6/23/08 ver 1.1 DRAFT FOR COMMENT)

New image   Standard for Friction Ridge Automation Training (Tenprint)  (6/11/08 ver 1.0 DRAFT FOR COMMENT)

New image   Standard for Friction Ridge Digital Imaging  (6/11/08 ver 1.0 DRAFT FOR COMMENT)

There are many format updates to how the documents look, but there are also some substantive changes to the content of the documents.  First of all, you will notice that the word "Standard" appears in the title of all three documents.  The Automation Training and Imaging documents use to be guidelines, but SWGFAST has taken the next step in transforming these guidelines to discipline standards.

Standard for Examination of Simultaneous Impressions (hereafter referred to as "the Simultaneous document")
SWGFAST considered each and every comment received and significantly modified several portions of the Simultaneous document.  For those who are interested in whether SWGFAST incorporated their comments, or who wish to conduct a detailed side-by-side comparison of the old draft version of the document and the new version of the document, it is recommended that the old version be accessed at prior to the next SWGFAST meeting.  It is anticipated that additional comments will be received and incorporated into the final draft for publication by SWGFAST at their next meeting, and at that time the Detail Archives version of the old draft for comment will be deleted or replaced by the new version to avoid confusion.  The old version was published as the Detail # 344 on March 17, 2008.

The new Simultaneous document has several new preamble sentences:

"Simultaneous impression examination is an advanced technique that should be utilized with caution.  A complete analysis of the impressions should occur before concluding simultaneity."

"If a conclusion can be derived without invoking simultaneity, or if the issue of simultaneity itself is not relevant, then this standard may not apply.

"There is no scientific basis for requiring a single friction ridge impression within a simultaneous impression to stand-alone for individualization purposes." (moved from the Analysis section to the Preamble)

SWGFAST has removed reference to "probative value" of an impression with relation to establishing for legal purposes how the item was handled.

SWGFAST added an example of substrate consistency in section "
A single surface such as the entire surface of a cylindrical or curved object on which all friction ridge impressions appear; three fingerprints on one side of a cylinder and a thumb print on the other side."

Evaluation conclusions were expanded as reporting phrases and moved from the Evaluation section and section 6 to a separate Appendix.

2 references were added:

Gaudes, C. Digit Determination. Identification Canada. 2002, 25 (4), 11-15. 

Wisniewski, P. Comparison of Fingerprints Recovered in a Composite Way. Problemy Kryminalistyki. 2003, 239, 21-29.

The Tenprint Automation Training Standard was proposed by the new SWGFAST Tenprint Committee to replace the Friction Ridge Automation Training Guidelines. 

The document was entirely re-formatted and the "Live-scan" and "Card-scan" sections were combined into an "Image Capture and Transmission" section. 

the main content within the tenprint portion of the document remained relatively unchanged.

Dropped the latent print and digital imaging sections.

The Standard for Friction Ridge Digital Imaging document was reformatted.  In the new Preamble, the document was scoped by the following: "These standards do not extend to image adjustments on an AFIS system."

SWGFAST added the phrase "Capture in raw file format is recommended."

SWGFAST added: "Agencies shall have procedures to ensure the accessibility of digital images, e.g. images may be archived in a format to ensure their accessibility, hardware and software may be archived to ensure accessibility of images." referencing the SWGIT “Best Practices for Archiving Digital and Multimedia Evidence (DME) in the Criminal Justice System.”

SWGFAST left the requirement: "The application of digital image processing (enhancement) techniques shall be documented. This documentation shall be sufficient to enable evaluation or replication of the digital image processing techniques."

SWGFAST removed the following from the new document that was located in the old document: "Digital images prepared for other purposes do not require digital image enhancement documentation, i.e., demonstrative court exhibits.  If only minor digital image adjustment are made to the entire image, similar to conventional photography/darkroom adjustment to brightness, contrast and color shift, etc., documentation is not required."


KEPT - Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony - #26
Terminology - Permanence or Persistence
by Michele Triplett, King County Sheriff's Office

Disclaimer:  The intent of this is to provide thought provoking discussion.  No claims of accuracy exist. 


Question – Terminology – Permanence or Persistence:

Can you please describe fingerprint permanence to the court.


Possible Answers:

a)      The friction ridge arrangements on the skin are formed during fetal formation and remain the same until after death and decomposition starts.

b)      The friction ridge arrangements on the skin are formed during fetal formation and are permanent until after death and decomposition starts.

c)      The friction ridge arrangements on the skin are formed during fetal formation and are persistent until after death and decomposition starts.  Persistent means that they do change in size and can be different due to the flexibility of the skin but the characteristics themselves do not change.




Many people don’t think there’s a big difference in which term you use but it may matter if more than one examiner is testifying in the same case and one person states that fingerprints are permanent and another person testifies that they aren’t permanent.  It’s becoming more common every day for multiple people to testify in the same case and something this small could mean the difference between appearing knowledgeable or uninformed.



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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!