Kaye on the DFSC new fingerprint policy

David Kaye writes on his blog here about the U.S. Army’s Defense Forensic Science Center (DFSC) notice on a new policy for expressing associations with latent fingerprints.  This is the revised language to be used to express conclusions:

“The latent print on Exhibit ## and the record finger/palm prints bearing the name XXXX have corresponding ridge detail. The likelihood of observing this amount of correspondence when two impressions are made by different sources is considered extremely low.”

DFSC adds: “This revision to the reporting language is not the result of changes in the examination methods and does not impact the strength of the source associations. Instead, it simply reflects a more scientifically appropriate framework for expressing source associations made when evaluating latent print evidence. The next step will be to quantify both the amount of corresponding ridge detail and the related likelihood calculations. In the interim, customers should continue to maintain strong confidence in latent print examination results.”

Published by BGarrett

Professor of Law, Duke University

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