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By Christophe Champod; et al

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Extra resources for Fingerprints and other ridge skin impressions

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Run comparatively ridges (establish the route of each friction ridge) and furrows. 4 Flow diagram (part 1) of the comparison stage. Comparison (2) EXCLUSION no Is there agreement at level 3? • Select a configuration of level 3 features visible on the mark (pore structures or ridge edges). • Can this configuration be found within tolerances on the known print? • If yes, continue the comparative procedure, adding into the process a new configuration visible on the mark. • Continue this iterative process until all ridge units visible on the mark have been examined and compared.

For jurists, fingermarks can be perfectly classed with all other forms of evidential material in the judicial system (Eggleston 1983). This issue has also been addressed by the Court of Appeal of New Zealand (R v. Buisson [1990] 2 NZLR 542 [CA]). The court not only ruled that no numerical standards exist for an identification, but also stated that much useful evidence was being kept out of the courts based on decisions made by experts. This reporting practice in the fingerprint field is a policy that is opposed to the scientific principles governing the interpretation of scientific evidence (Robertson and Vignaux 1994; Champod 1995; Stoney 1997).

Most past studies have been reviewed by Stoney (2001). Stoney (1985) extended the work of previous authors and was followed by Champod (1996; Champod and Margot 1997a). This selectivity is also corroborated by the enormous experience of practitioners over more that a century, especially when we consider manual “cold” searches in large databases. The knowledge stems then from the stochastic morphogenesis of fingerprint patterns (see Chapter 1) and the success of AFIS systems at retrieving potential candidates based on complete unknown prints or partial questioned marks (see also the recent paper by Pankanti et al.

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