Intro to forensic science
March 25, 1013
For more than a century, fingerprints, palm prints and sole prints have been used as powerful identification tools by law enforcement agencies. Prosecutors have found few scientific procedures to be more powerful than the fingerprint. Fingerprinting also known as “friction ridge analysis,” is a forensic method that involves examiners to compare the details of an unknown print left behind from the oil or residue left on ones fingers or palms and compare it with a set or a database of known prints. Fingerprints have been sworn to be Infallible for over a century but many have often wondered how accurate fingerprinting really is. The details on the prints include ridges, loops, whorls and other points of similarities that differ and distinguish one from another. It has been said in past times that no two fingerprints are the same. Fingerprints between two family members are no more similar then between two strangers. Fingerprints remain unchanged during a person’s lifetime and typical have as many as 150 ridge characteristics. In the past, individual prints were compared to prints on file by fingerprint examiners. New technology enables computers to do this work. Computers are able to scan and digitally encode fingerprints so that they can be subject to high speed computer processing. Automated fingerprint identification uses automatic scanning devices that convert the image of a fingerprint into digital minutuae (the ridge characteristics) that contains data showing ridges at their points of termination. By comparing ridge patterns, characteristics and where the ridges end, scientists can determine whose fingerprints they are examining. The method of fingerprinting has been perfected through many hands since it originated. Traces of this method have been traced back to ancient Babylonian times and ancient Chinese times. The first known use of fingerprints in the...