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Expert Fingerprint Testimony—Jury Trial

In addition to your experience, education, certifications, and affiliations, the following questions relative to the field of identification could be asked. The qualified examiner should be able to answer the questions.

  • 1. What conclusions may be arrived at by the examiner?
  • 2. What is a latent impression?
  • 3. What is an inked or known impression?
  • 4. How is an identification effected (basic premise)?
  • 5. Is there a specific number of “points” that one must find to conclude a positive identification?
  • 6. What is meant by dissimilarities?
  • 7. What do you mean by an apparent explainable dissimilarity?
  • 8. What is a natural dissimilarity?
  • 9. How many points of dissimilarities must you find in order to exclude a person?
  • 10. When conducting a comparison, at what point in time do you conclude an identification or eliminate a person?
  • 11. What is the basic premise of fingerprint identification?
  • 12. Can two examiners differ in an opinion?
  • 13. Is fingerprint identification an exact science?
  • 14. If yes, then why would two examiners differ in their opinion?
  • 15. Could you determine exactly the age of the latent impression (technically or generally)?
  • 16. How many points of identification are contained in a normal rolled ink or live scan impression?
  • 17. Did you examine the dissimilarities that are present (that is, microscopically)?
  • 18. If you were to find ten points of identification and one dissimilarity, would you exclude the identification?
  • 19. How many points have you found similar to someone else’s?
  • 20. What is a lift card?
  • 21. What is lifting tape?
  • 22. What are the methods employed in the development of latents and how do those methods work (powders/chemicals)?
  • 23. What books or publications have you read regarding the science of fingerprints?
  • 24. Can fingerprints be forged?
  • 25. Can you tell in all instances that a print has been forged?
  • 26. What is a transferred fingerprint?
  • 27. How long will a latent print last?
  • 28. What is meant by a reversed print?
  • 29. What is meant by a print of no value?
  • 30. Explain the dusting and lifting process.
  • 31. Define sebaceous oils.
  • 32. What is the makeup of perspiration?
  • 33. Could you eliminate a person even though a latent impression would be of no identification value?
  • 34. Have you ever made an erroneous fingerprint identification?
  • 35. Describe fingerprint minutiae.
  • 36. How many layers of skin are there?
  • 37. What is the average thickness of skin?
  • 38. What is poroscopy?
  • 39. Could another expert disagree with your identification?
  • 40. What is the lowest number of points needed to conclude a positive identification?
  • 41. What do you mean by a sufficient number of points?
  • 42. Is the absence of characteristics just as important as the presence of characteristics?
  • 43. Is it not true every time you see a dissimilarity you guess what caused it?
  • 44. Can a person touch something and not leave a fingerprint?
  • 45. If you cannot lift a latent print, how do you preserve it?
  • 46. What is live scan?
  • 47. What is AFIS?
  • 48. What is IAFIS?
  • 49. What is the process referred to as ACE-V?
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