The Champion

November/December 2008 , Page 16 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Latent Fingerprint Evidence: Fabrication, Not Error

By Pat A. Wertheim

Many fingerprint experts may believe it improper to discuss the topic of fingerprint fabrication, seeing occurrences as isolated incidents rather than a pattern of dishonesty. But a simple accounting of known cases of fingerprint fabrication shows it to be a serious problem, more serious than that of misattribution, or “erroneous identification” as fingerprint experts themselves call it. Honest mistakes do occur and, unfortunately, some go undetected for years, maybe forever. But the number of such erroneous identifications shown to have actually occurred is much smaller than the number of cases of fingerprint fabrication known to have been committed.

In this specialized discussion, the terms “forgery” and “fabrication” have very different and unrelated meanings.1 A forged fingerprint is a fingerprint that actually exists on a surface, but was deposited there by some person other than the one to whom it can be correctly identified. For example, if a safe burg

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad