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What is referencing? Referencing is an alternate choice that is displayed on the classification to indicate that although the classification may be indicated a certain way, it may also be something else. For example, a pattern may be indicated as a loop with a ridge count of three, but the pattern may also be a tented arch. Or one may not be certain of a ridge count or trace value. What does referencing typically look like?

• Always reference patterns questionable in interpretation, type, ridge

count, or trace value.

  • • Factors making referencing necessary:
  • • Variation in individual judgment and eyesight
  • • The amount of ink and/or pressure used
  • • Differences in the width of the rolled impression
  • • Worn ridges caused by disease, age, or occupation
  • • Amputations, temporary or permanent scars, and bandaged fingers
  • • Crippled hands

For the highest degree of accuracy, compare all rolled impressions with the flat impressions. This will also give a sequence of patterns. All ridge count and traces that are “line counts” should be searched in both sections. When in doubt, assign the preferred class and place the reference class under it.

Filing Sequence

Due to technology and a variety of other factors, manual filing and searching is a rarity these days. However, the Henry filing system needs to be discussed in order to understand how the system is and was utilized, and how fingerprints were filed and searched. When the filing process is done, the fingerprints are filed the same way they are classed, m by division.

A. Primary—The prints are filed according to their numeric designation. For example, 1/1 through 1/32 would first be searched. Then 2/1 through 2/32 and so on, until the search concludes with 32/32. The denominator remains constant until the numerator is exhausted.

B. Secondary—The index fingers are searched.

1. Capital letter of index fingers.

a. A/A through W/W. In order of preference A/A, A/T, A/R,

A/U, A/W. Continue through the search, until concluding with W/W.

2. Small letter sequencing, a. Denominator preferred.

i. Count of small letters (lesser preceding greater)

ii. Position of letters (left preceding right)

iii. Type of letters, a, t, r.

C. Subsecondary—Ridge count or trace value indicated by a letter of the index, middle, and ring fingers.

  • 1. III/III though OOO/OOO
  • 2. Denominator remains constant until the numerator is exhausted.

D. Major—Ridge counts or trace values of the thumbs.

  • 1. Loops in thumbs: S/S to L/L
  • 2. Whorls in thumbs: I/I to 0/0
  • 3. Whorl in the right thumb, loop in the left thumb: I/S to O/L
  • 4. Loop in the right thumb, whorl in the left thumb: S/I to L/O

E. Final—Ridge count of loop appearing in the little fingers.

1. Numeric sequence from one out.

F. Key—First loop appearing on the card excluding little fingers.

1. Numeric sequence from one out.

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