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"Historical Development And Evaluation Of The 12 Point Rule" -

Charles R. Kingston, Paul L. Kirk - School of Criminology.  University of California,  Berkeley, United States

 An Analysis Of Standards In Fingerprint Identification  Reprinted from the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, June, 1972

"Long Experience in the FBI Identification Division has shown that 12 ridge characteristics which correspond in shape and relationship are ample in any case to establish and identification"

Reliability Standards? The 1973 IAI and 1995 Ne'urim resolution: 

By Dusty Clark (dustman@latent-prints.com)

 The reliability of an identification relying solely on Ridgeology:  By Dusty Clark-12/15/99   (dustman@latent-prints.com)

Scientific Conclusions- The scientific analysis applied to latent fingerprints and other forensic impression evidence: 

By Dusty Clark 1/14/00 (dustman@latent-prints.com)

Is Fingerprint Identification A "Science" ? 

By Prof. Andre Moenssens (www.forensic-evidence.com)

WHEN BAD SCIENCE LEADS TO GOOD LAW:

THE DISTURBING IRONY OF THE DAUBERT HEARING IN THE CASE OF

 U.S. V. BYRON C. MITCHELL

Dr. James L. Wayman, Director, U.S. National Biometric Test Center, College of Engineering, San Jose State University

"Setting Standards In The Comparison and Identification"
A transcription of the presentation by Dr. John Thornton

84th Annual Training Conference of the California State Division of IAI
Laughlin, Nevada - May 9, 2000

"A MATTER OF STANDARDS" A discussion by Arie Zeelenberg - Netherlands Senior Advisor Fingerprints National Police Service, February 16, 2011

FACT IS, SCIENCE HAS NEVER PUT ITS FINGER ON PRINTS

By: Mike Weiss, A Section of the Sunday San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

Sunday, May 28, 2000 *

* From the Robert NAWI case cited in the above article: 

REPLY TO PEOPLE'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO EXCLUDE FINGERPRINT IDENTIFICATION EVIDENCE AND REQUEST FOR A HEARING PURSUANT TO PEOPLE V. KELLY (1976) 17 CAL. 3D 24, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR FUNDS TO RETAIN FINGERPRINT EXPERTS AND TO PERMIT THEIR TESTIMONY BEFORE THE JURY- March 3, 2000

The Inference of Identity of Source: Theory and Practice

By Dr. Christophe Champod 

TECHNOLOGY GOES TO COURT (Science/Daubert):  From Spring 2001 issue of TechBeat, published by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center; a program of the National Institute of Justice, 800-248-2742

DO FINGERPRINTS LIE?  The New Yorker Magazine

by MICHAEL SPECTER
The gold standard of forensic evidence is now being challenged.
Issue of 2002-05-27

*Detail 60 - The third of a three part series "Defending Against the Critic's Curse."
Glenn Langenburg: Defending Against David Stoney.
A scientific critique of a scientific challenge to fingerprints.

*www.clpex.com

A  proposed objective friction ridge Qualitative and Quantitative Individualization Standard weighted on the clarity of  ridge features.  Based upon Locard's tripartite rule. 

By Dusty Clark-2/18/03, updated 3/10/12(dustman@latent-prints.com)

 

California Division IAI  (CSDIAI) 2001 STATISTICAL REPORT:  The past limited statistical models have  been validated by the California DOJ latent database, supporting quantifiable thresholds.

By Dusty Clark 11/27/02 (dustman@latent-prints.com)

 

 

FRICTION RIDGE IMPRESSION VALUES

CONCLUSIONS THAT CAN BE DRAWN FROM THE DETAIL PRESENT 

By Dusty Clark 5/16/03 (dustman@latent-prints.com)

A brief analysis of the case of United States v. Crisp (2003) and some musings about its dissenting opinion. From Forensic-Evidence .com  5/5/03

View  the full court decision

It deserves special mention at the outset – as was recognized by the court's majority – that no appellate court has ever held that fingerprint identification evidence and handwriting comparison evidence is inadmissible!

 

Interpol European Expert Group on Fingerprint Identification - IEEGF2
Method For Fingerprint Identification
 

See other information at http://www.interpol.int

Latent Print Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice through a Systems Approach-- The Report of the Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis February 2012

 

 

FINGERPRINTS MEET DAUBERT:

THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINT "SCIENCE" IS REVEALED

ROBERT EPSTEIN March 4, 2002

An insight to the fingerprint legal challenge-- added 2/27/04

 

ACE-V - IS IT Scientifically reliable and accurate?

By Dusty Clark - Added 3/6/04 Published in JFI Vol 52 No.4,July/Aug 2002

State of Maryland vs Bryan Rose  May 2007 Frye Hearing
"The State did not prove in this case that opinion testimony by experts regarding the ACE-V method
of latent print identification rests on a reliable factual foundation"
Many are to blame for Maryland Judge's Decision - November 8, 2007 by Crime Lab Report

 

Quantitative Assessment Of Individuality Of Friction Ridge Patterns  A federally funded study by Sargur N. Srihari - 3/20/09

 

The Need for a Research Culture in the Forensic Sciences- Jennifer L. Mnookin et al.* 58 UCLA L. Rev. 725
This Article reflects an effort made by a diverse group of participants in these debates, including law professors, academics from several disciplines, and practicing forensic scientists, to find and explore common ground.

 

 

United States of America v. LLERA PLAZA US District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  January 7, 2002  Judge  Pollak  
Ruling critical of the fingerprint foundations, its application and not meeting Daubert /Kumho requirements

 

United States of America v. LLERA PLAZA US District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  March 13, 2002  Judge  Pollak

"I concluded in the January 7 opinion that Daubert's testing factor was not met, and I have found no reason to depart from that conclusion."

3. Completing the Daubert/Kumho Tire Assessment

Having re-reviewed the applicability of the Daubert factors through the prism of Kumho Tire, I conclude that the one Daubert factor which is both pertinent and unsatisfied is the first factor-“testing.”……  Scientific tests of ACE-V- i.e. tests in the Daubert sense- would clearly aid in measuring ACE-V’s reliability.  But as of today no tests are at hand. The question, then, is whether, in the absence of such tests, a court should conclude that the ACE-V fingerprint identification system, as practiced…has too great a likelihood of producing erroneous results to be admissible as evidence in a courtroom setting. 

I am not persuaded that courts should defer admission of testimony with respect to fingerprinting…..until academic investigators financed by the National Institute of Justice have made substantial headway on a “verification and validation” research agenda……to sponsor such research would be all to the good.

 

United States of America v. Byron Mitchell In the United States Court of Appeals 3rd district - Decision argued 9/9/03 filed 4/29/04

4. Maintenance of Standards.  Closely related to the question of error rate is the maintenance of standards to guide the application of the method.  This is lacking here in some measure.  The FBI maintains that its flexibility to consider a mixture of Level 2 and Level 3 detail in making identifications renders its method superior to and more flexible than the minimum-points standards used in some states and various foreign jurisdictions. The tradeoff, though, is that the FBI’s method lacks a significant yardstick of standard-based objectivity.

 In contrast, with a minimum-point standard there is at least some agreement about what constitutes a Galton point and what does not.  Some standards do remain: There are procedural standards (such as ACE-V) and terminological standards (such as the naming conventions for Galton points). But these are insubstantial in comparison to the elaborate and exhaustively refined standards found in many scientific and  Technical disciplines. As such, we find that this factor does not favor admitting the evidence.

E. Conclusion on the Admissibility of the Government’s Evidence.  We conclude, on the record before us read in light of the basic Daubert principles, that most factors support (or at least do not disfavor) admitting the government’s latent fingerprint identification evidence. There are good grounds for its admission. We therefore conclude that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in holding the government’s evidence admissible.

 

THE MADRID BOMBING FINGERPRINT ERROR

U.S. Releases Man Questioned for Madrid Bombings - by: Chris Stetkiewicz (Reuters) May 21, 2004

Tomas Alex Tizon and Sebastian Rotella, Los Angeles Times - Sacramento Bee 5/21/04

"Clearing Mayfield would also likely renew a debate about the scientific validity of fingerprint evidence, which has come under growing scrutiny in court in recent years."  

" 'It will be very interesting,' said a former top FBI official.  ' Some (fingerprint) examiner's career may be on the line for making an ID that did not hold up' ."

The FBI admits error.....

Falsely accused opens probe into his arrest

The inexact science of fingerprint analysis.

FBI's handling of fingerprint case criticized

FBI case against Oregon lawyer built on blurry fingerprint, logic ".....showing how the FBI had looked more closely at the print's tiny details, a level of scrutiny the Spanish officials had not yet applied."  The Spanish numerical standard was correct in not concluding individualization.  The Ridgeology analysis conclusion of individualization was flawed.

Images of Erroneous Madrid latent

Federal Affidavit 

Office of Inspector General (OIG) Inquiry Request

Spanish Judge Issues Warrant for Algerian

Spain and U.S. at odds on mistaken terrorist arrest 

Faulty Forensics- Discussion program on the Madrid error, "The connection"  NPR Show Originally Aired: 6/10/2004

Calif. Assoc. of Criminalists review of information  regarding the erroneous Madrid print (4.77MB).

"Forensics- Lessons Learned from the Brandon Mayfield case" By William C. Thompson; Simon A. Cole,  National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Champion Magazine, April 2005

Special report by the FBI on the erroneous fingerprint individualization in the Madrid train bombing case

In response to the misidentification of a latent print:  FBI - "Review of the Scientific Basis for Friction Ridge Comparisons as a Means of Identification:  Committee Findings and Recommendations

Sloppy FBI work blamed for linking Oregon lawyer to terror bombing- By MARK SHERMAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Office Of Inspector General - A Review of the FBI's Handling of the Brandon Mayfield Case (Unclassified Executive Summary), Special Report, January 2006 (9mb pdf) Web Viewable (900kb) FBI response - Full OIG Report (82.3mb)

View Mayfield, Daoud, and the latent images contained in the Final OIG Report

 

State of Utah,v.Raymond Michael Quintana 11/12/04 Appellate decision-William A. Thorne Jr., Judge, concurring opinion

12 .....trial courts should be directed to instruct juries about the existing weaknesses of fingerprint examiner training and identification protocol.

13 ..... absence of any nationally recognized standard to ensure that examiners are equipped to perform the tasks expected of them......  fingerprint evidence has been afforded a near magical quality in our culture.  In essence, we have adopted a cultural assumption  that a defendant's fingerprint was found at a crime scene is an infallible fact, and not merely the examiner's opinion.

14 Unfortunately, our societal acceptance of the infallibility of examiners' opinions appears to be misplaced.

15 Until there is a nationally adopted certification system--ensuring examiner proficiency--and a nationally adopted minimum standard for matching latent fingerprints to known samples-- minimizing the risk of misidentification--courts should ensure that juries are instructed that examiner testimony is informed opinion, but not fact.

 

Fingerprint and forensic experts are vulnerable to psychological and cognitive influences.

Contextual information in the fingerprint individualization process-- Publications by Dr. I.E. DROR

 

National Academy of Sciences November 2005 Sackler Colloquia on forensic sciences

Fingerprint discipline specific presentations- - - Requires sound and Macromedia Flash Player

bullet Simon Cole, University of California, Irvine
A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification 
bulletAnil Jain, Michigan State University
Uniqueness of Fingerprints 
bullet

Computation of Likelihood Ratios in Fingerprint Identification for Configurations of Any Number of Minutiæ - Journal of Forensic Science, Vol. 52 No. 1-Cédric Neumann, M.Sc.;  Christophe Champod, Ph.D., etal

 

 The Opinionization of Fingerprint Evidence, Simon A Cole -BioSocieties (2008), 3, 105–113 ª London School of Economics and Political Science ,doi:10.1017/S1745855208006030

Out of the Daubert Fire and into the Fryeing Pan?  Self-Acceptance versus Meta-Expertise and the admissibility of Latent Print Evidence in Frye Jurisdictions,  Simon A Cole -Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2008

 

 Fingerprint Identifications (Science or Not)  - by Warren Ashton Retired RCMP

 

 LAPD blames faulty fingerprint analysis for erroneous accusations -              LA Times  Oct. 17, 2008  An audit finds shoddy work by specialists and cites two cases in which charges had to be dropped. The total number of such instances is unknown and officials say they lack the money to determine it.

 

Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, First Division. The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Cory SAFFORD, Defendant-Appellant. No. 1-06-3083. June 1, 2009. 

Conviction reversed as there was no evidentiary foundation and lack of detail of the facts supporting the opinion of the fingerprint examiner of individualization.

 

Superior Court of The District of Columbia

US v. Hamza Keita Criminal Case No. 2008 CF 2 26777

October 30, 2009 - Motion to Exclude Latent Fingerprint Testimony - Challenge Based primarily on the findings of the NAS and the U.S. OIG Mayfield reports

 

Stochastics - The real science behind forensic pattern identification -

November 24, 2009 by John M. Collins, Chief Managing Editor of Crime Lab Report

 

Science in court: The fine print - Nature 464, 344-346 (2010)
A single incriminating fingerprint can land someone in jail. But, Laura Spinney finds, there is little empirical basis for such decisions.

 

Daubert and Forensic Science: The Pitfalls of Law Enforcement Control of Scientific Research-Paul C. Giannelli - Page 32-36 on Fingerprinting

 

 Latent Print Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice through a Systems Approach -The Report of the Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis-Feb 2012

 

A consolidated list of annotated bibliographic references of published research related to latent print analysis - SWGFAST response to questions posed by Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation Inter-Agency Working Group under the NSTC Forensic Science subcommittee

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

November 30, 2009

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has awarded researchers at Virginia Tech a two-year,$854,907 grant to develop a quantitative approach to measuring and establishing

a standard for "standard for "sufficiency" of information available in friction ridge (fingerprint) patterns.  

 

 

With issuance of the 1973 IAI resolution which stated, "That no valid basis exists at this time for requiring that a pre-determined number......", the standardization committee strongly recommended a federally funded study of fingerprints.  

Twenty-seven years later a solicitation for such a study was issued.

 

The grant funding for this solicitation was recalled and the solicitation was rewritten to include all pattern evidence sciences.  This does not infer that friction ridge individualization validation is not needed.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has identified the need for validation of the basis for friction ridge individualization and standardization of comparison criteria: 

bullet Basic research to determine the scientific validity of individuality in friction ridge examination based on measurement of features, quantification, and statistical analysis.  
bullet Procedures for comparing friction ridge impressions that are standardized and validated.  
bullet Basic research into the individuality of friction ridges requires objective measurement and statistical analysis.

View the solicitation       Open Adobe PDF

View the N I J solicitation clarification letter dated June 20, 2000

 

     "Quantitative Research on Friction Ridge Patterns"

Solicitation Deadline February 25, 2005

View Solicitation    NIJ Link

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