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New Charting Method


For nearly 100 years, it has been commonly accepted that fingerprints are one of the best forms of physical evidence, and they have been used as the only positive means of identification. But when used in court, however, defense attorneys will often hammer away at the latent print examiner who introduces fingerprint evidence, questioning how the identification of the latent print was made. Frequently this challenge has focused on one simple question: "How many points did you use to make a positive identification?"

Numerous articles and books have been written explaining that latent print examiners do not just count points. Yet using traditional court charts with their lines and numbers, it appears that we do just that. Furthermore, it is easy to explain Level 1 detail (general ridge flow/pattern configuration) and Level 2 detail (ending ridges, bifurcations, etc.) to the lay person in a manner that is readily understandable using traditional court charts. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to demonstrate and explain Level 3 detail (dimensional attributes of a ridge, such as ridge width, shape, pores, edge contour, and so forth) using traditional court exhibits.

Digital imaging has not only been changing the way we view and enhance images, it is now helping us enhance the way we present evidence exhibits--successfully and succinctly. David "Ski" Witzke has developed and is now training latent print examiners to use a new technique for preparing court exhibits that clearly demonstrates all three levels of detail. This new charting method makes it significantly easier to view and explain Level 3 detail and, more importantly, it eliminates the use of numbers or letters to show corresponding characteristics between the latent and known print. This new charting method is done by using Adobe Photoshop. This link will take you to Creating a Court Chart on FORAY Technologies Web site. This new charting technique has been used successfully in the Daubert hearing in Pennsylvania as well as in several other trials in Florida, Pennsylvania and Canada.

Click here to learn how to create a Court Chart.

Please contact David Witzke at FORAY Technologies for more information about this new method

New Charting Method

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