200 word Response 1 reference/intext citation Due 3/27/2024 Dugar Taking into consideration the information covered in the presentation and these

200 word Response 1 reference/intext citation Due 3/27/2024

Dugar

Taking into consideration the information covered in the presentation and these articles, what is your opinion of the validity of latent print identification? Additionally, how do these issues affect the validity other types of impression evidence? 

After reading through the materials provided, I conclude that the validity of latent print identification is not as sound and accurate as it has been presented. There are numerous loopholes that can lead to misidentification thus lowering the validity of the technique as a sole source of evidence. In other words, there needs to be additional pieces of evidence that align alongside the latent print identification for a conviction to be granted. While the technique of fingerprint identification has been accepted as evidence in courts for over a century, the process of latent print identification presents loopholes that can mislead the evidence. In her judgment summary for the Brian Keith Rose murder case, Judge Susan M. Souder explains how the ACE-V (Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, Verification) process used in latent print identification is conducted (State of Maryland vs. Brian Rose 13). Reading through, there are many areas where errors could occur throughout the process. For example, in the analysis phase, bias may infiltrate the process if the examiner is considering particular known prints. In the verification phase, it is highly unlikely that the second examiner disputes the conclusion of the first examiner especially when they already know what that conclusion is, which is usually the case. That explains one of the major reasons why the misidentification of Brandon Mayfield occurred in May, 2004. Two FBI examiners and a supervisor agreed that the prints were Mayfield’s, which was not true.

The issues identified in latent print identification are likely to taint the validity of other types of impression evidence. This is because the technique used in latent print identification is similar to that used on other impression evidence such as a footprint. After the Mayfield case, the FBI Laboratory set up a committee to conduct internal review of what had caused the error. In their reporting, the FBI committee noted that “the methodology surrounding latent fingerprint examination – like most pattern disciplines – has more subjectivity than other forensic disciplines…” (Zarwell and Dutton 2022). The recommendation offered by the committee was to use black box testing, a technique that tests both the examiners and the methods used simultaneously.

Notably, the risks that exist in the process of latent print identification and other impression evidence does not rule out their potential to produce accurate information. What is required is objectivity and commitment to independence by examiners when conducting the ACE-V process. Judge Souder quotes one of the expertise in the Brian Rose as saying that “During forensic comparison, one must maintain an objective state of mind to guard against seeing things that are not there, (State of Maryland vs. Brian Rose 14). Also, the pressure that comes with solving some cases, especially the high profile ones like the Madrid train bombings can overwhelm the investigations and they develop some haste which could end up affecting accuracy and therefore thwarting justice. When done professionally, latent print identification and other impression evidence can produce accurate outcomes.

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